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Wike removes NDDC’s former MD from house arrest, police siege

By NewsDesk

The Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, has rescued a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Joy Nunieh, after policemen allegedly lay siege on her residence, and put her under house arrest since the early hours of Thursday.

It was gathered that the governor’s intervention was on the heels of the alleged invasion of Nunieh’s residence by armed security operatives.

Nunieh’s travails may not be unconnected to her recent outburst during an interview with newsmen where she accused the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, of sexually harassing her among other weighty allegations.

However, it was gathered that Wike rushed to the embattled ex-NDDC boss residence after reports and pictures of the invasion surfaced online and later left the area with her to the Government House in Port Harcourt.

While narrating her ordeal, Nunieh revealed that the armed policemen tried breaking the security door to her residence before the governor came to her rescue, adding that the siege at her GRA residence was to prevent her from flying to Abuja to appear before the House Committee probing NDDC Interim Management Committee spendings.

Speaking with newsmen at the Government House in Port Harcourt on Thursday, the former NDDC boss accused Akpabio of masterminding the police invasion of her residence, stressing that she would stop at nothing in telling Nigerians the truth.

“This is definitely the handiwork of those who don’t want me to tell the truth about what is going on at the NDDC. My Governor, Wike, says they have tried to pressure him to retract his warning that I should not be harmed but he has refused.

“The minister (Akpabio) thinks he can intimidate me with police but I will not be intimidated. He is afraid that I have exposed the fact that there is no forensic audit going on at the NDDC.

“Yesterday, the BPP appeared before the Committee and said they were deceived into issuing a certificate of ‘no objection’ by Akpabio who told them that the 2020 budget had been passed. No matter how long they take I will give my testimony,” she said.

On his part, Wike, who bemoaned the police operatives’ action revealed that they were not from the state Police Command.

“I called the Commissioner of Police, he said he was not aware. They said it’s the IGP Monitoring Team, but I have spoken to the authorities, they said the IG is not even aware.

“For me, if there is any crime against Dr. Joi Numieh, I will not back her. Some say she is not in my party, so I shouldn’t intervene, but she’s a Rivers daughter,” he said.

Meanwhile, the acting Managing Director of NDDC, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, and his team walked out on lawmakers investigating the alleged N40 billion irregular expenditure in the commission.

The team stormed out of the hearing on Thursday in Abuja, after accusing the Chairman of the committee Rep. Olubumi Tunji-Ojo (APC-Ondo) of corruption.

“We in the NDDC is not comfortable with the Chairman of this committee, presiding over a matter. He is an accused party, the NDDC has over time accused  Rep. Olubumi Tunji-Ojo of different crimes against the NDDC and he has responded in the press.

“He is an interested party and we do not believe that the NDDC can have justice because he cannot seat on his own case. We have no issue of appearing, we appeared before the Senate ad hoc committee and as long as he reminds, we will not make any presentation,” he said. 

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