By Osahon Osahon
The immediate past acting Managing Director of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Joy Nunieh, has exonerated the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo, of any involvement in the financial scandal rocking the commission.
Keyamo, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), was first appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari as Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs until he was later redeployed to his present ministry barely few months into his appointment.
Nunieh, who reportedly fell out with the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, whose ministry oversees the activities of the NDDC, accused the former boss of approving 30 water hyacinth contracts without due process.
She said though the contracts were awarded while Keyamo was still minister under the ministry but the state labour minister was not involved in the contract scandal.
The former NDDC boss gave the clarification in Abuja on Friday after appearing before the Senate Ad Hoc Committee investigating the operations and alleged financial recklessness by the commission.
Nunieh, however, insisted that the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio got a total of 30 water hyacinth contracts from the NDCC shortly after he was inaugurated as minister.
“I can tell the world that Godswill Akpabio got 30 contracts to clear water hyacinth in the Niger Delta region shortly after he was inaugurated as minister.
“The then Minister of State, Festus Keyamo, was however not involved in the said contract and there are documents to show how the contracts were given.
“No contract is awarded and or payment made in the NDDC without the knowledge of Godswill Akpabio.
“I stand by everything I said at the National Assembly and I want Nigerians to know that I was removed from the NDDC because I refused to swear an oath of loyalty to Godswill Akpabio.
“I also refused to do his biddings and that led to serious disagreement between the two of us. I stood my ground and refused to use my position as MD to satisfy the financial gluttony of Godswill Akpabio and that was why he removed me from office.”