By Onome Oghenetega
The embattled minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has given reasons for the sack of the former acting Managing Director of the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Joy Nunieh.
Akpabio said the former NDDC boss was sacked for insubordination and failing to respond to several queries by the supervising ministry.
The minister stated this in an interview with Arise News following the allegation leveled against him by Nunieh at the National Assembly investigation into the alleged financial recklessness in the interventionist agency.
The former Akwa Ibom State governor, who denied corruption allegation leveled against him by the former acting NDDC MD, said Nuniel was fired following petitions against her by an anti-corruption group.
“She (Nunieh) wasn’t relieved of her appointment because of corruption. She was relieved of her appointment because of insubordination. My ministry that supervised her wrote seven letters to her and never responded to one.
“And of course, she said she was bigger than the minister of Niger Delta.
“After that, the then Chief of Staff (to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari) sent a petition from an anti-corruption agency insisting that she does not have the required qualification to work as Acting Managing Director of the Commission”, the minister said.
The former Senate minority leader alleged further that a letter from the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) indicated that it had no record of the former NDDC chief of her involvement with the scheme hence her removal as MD.
According to him, “She was removed after the findings. If something comes up that you were not aware of that the person occupying a position just like the former minister of finance that does not have NYSC certificate…what do you do? You know our laws. It’s either the certificate or exception letter.”
Nunieh had on Friday while appearing before the National Assembly joint committee on Niger Delta accused Akpabio of allegedly awarding 30 water hyacinth contracts as well as insisting that approval must come from him before any payment by NDDC.
The former NDDC boss also accused the minister of corrupt practices including trying to force her to take oath to do his bidding as the Managing Director of the agency.