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Akpabio Asked Me To Sack Northerner, Take Secrecy Oath – Joy Nunieh

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Joy Nunieh, former acting managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has accused Godswill Akpabio, minister of Niger Delta affairs, of fraud.

Nunieh spoke to journalists after appearing before the senate ad-hoc committee investigating the NDDC.

Akpabio and Nunieh had appeared before the senate ad hoc panel investigating the alleged mismanagement of N40 billion by the interim management committee (IMC) of the NDDC.

At the hearing, Akpabio said he did not know the expenditure of the NDDC under Nunieh because she refused to give him briefings.

But Nunieh, who made damning allegations against Akpabio, said the minister engineered her removal for failing to dance to his tunes.

She alleged that Akpabio asked her to change the dollars in the NDDC account; sack the head of the legal team who is from the north; remove all directors who refused to follow his instructions and also to implicate Peter Nwaoboshi, chairman of the senate committee on NDDC.

According to Nunieh, Akpabio warned that if she did not follow his instructions, she would be removed.

She also alleged that Akpabio would never sign any document, but rather ask his subordinates to commit fraud.

She said the minister asked her to take an oath of secrecy to stop her from exposing any of his dealings but she refused.

“…Nobody makes any payment in NDDC without Godswill Akpabio…. When we first came to the NDDC, on the day of going for the inauguration, he told me in the car that ‘Madam MD, If you don’t do what I say, the same pen which I use to sign your letter, it will be the same pen I will use to remove you,” she said.

“He said the first thing I should do when I get to Port-Harcourt is to change the dollars in the NDDC account. I was scared to do that. After that, he came to Port-Harcourt. Two days after the inauguration, he said the first thing I should do is to make sure I change the dollars; I should remove Mr Kaltugo from being legal and send him on compulsory retirement.

“That we cannot have a northerner being the head of the legal team of the legal unit.

“He said I should remove all the other directors that refuse to take his instructions during the time of Mrs Akwagaga, that is the predecessor before I came. So, he came also with a draft letter that I should write and put it on my letterhead implicating senator Nwaoboshi of collecting contracts in NDDC.

“I told him that I will not, that I am a lawyer and that whoever alleges must prove the fact that senator Nwaoboshi is giving us trouble.

“Akpabio never signed any document. He will always refuse to sign but will tell you to go and commit the fraud.

“For instance, he told me to go and raise a memo and give an emergency contract for flood victims. He wanted me to take an oath; he has denied that but I want to say today, he told me up to three times until we had a reconciliation meeting at the villa in the house of Mr Seriki Abba who is the SA to the president on domestics.

“I refused to take the oath, so he said he was going to remove me. He started the campaign of calumny against me. I did not answer him because the fact will speak for itself.

She also said Akpabio was awarded 30 contracts before she became the commission’s acting MD.

“Then Mr Linus, who was the director, finance, refused to sign because it did not follow due process. Then he also said that I should implicate the chairman of the house committee because the chairman had gone to Ondo state for a meeting to plan against him,” she added.

“Now, to end this matter about the procurement process, I refuse to go with him to deceive Mr President at the FEC meeting because the Procurement Act says if I contravene any session of the Act it is five years imprisonment without an option of fine.

“Akpabio went to get the approval from FEC. The 2020 budget has not even been discussed by the national assembly till today. He lied to FEC which is the greatest embarrassment for a country.

“I refused. I am challenging him to deny any of these allegations.”

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Nigeria Immigration Service Places Embargo on Capturing, Issuance of Passports

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The Nigeria Immigration Service has placed an embargo on capturing and issuance of passports to applicants from today May 18th till the end of May 2021.

The Comptroller General of Immigration, Muhammed Babandede made the announcement on Tuesday during a press briefing in Abuja.

He said the decision is to enable the service to clear its backlog, noting that it will no longer collect fresh applications until the backlogs are cleared.

This means that all passports in control offices are closed for applicants from today till May 31st and payments for passports will be online when the portal is opened which will be June.

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola had earlier given a six weeks timeline for passport collection.

He said this will be six weeks which is meant to allow for enough time to investigate, verify and validate personal information supplied by the applicants.

“What we are driving at is the peace of mind that comes from the assurance of certainty. If there are circumstances that will make the date to change, it will be communicated to the applicant one week before the collection date”.

He noted that applicants will have no basis for further communication with officers, other than to complete their application process and leave the venue. The date for the collection of their passports or any challenge to the application will be communicated to them.

“The technology for the efficient running of this system has been acquired and will be deployed.

“We are publishing on our website the list of the backlog of passports that are ready which are yet to be collected by the owners. They will be required to go to the state commands to collect them.

“With these changes, it is my firm belief that we will arrive at a new dawn in passport application processing”, the minister added.

Below is the breakdown of the current backlog

Local: 71, 644

Enhanced: 46,814

Foreign : 17,906

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NLC President Dares El-Rufai, Leads Protesters to Kaduna Govt House

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The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, is currently leading union members to the Kaduna State Government House.

This is after Governor Nasir El-Rufai declared the labour leader and others wanted for “economic sabotage” and attack on public infrastructure.

Large crowd, led by Wabba, is marching through Waff road in Kaduna and heading towards the government house.

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Gov Obiano Imposes Curfew on 2 Warring Anambra Communities

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Gov. Willie Obiano has imposed a 7am to 6am curfew on Omor and Anaku communities in Ayamelum Local Government Area of the state.

This is contained in a statement issued by Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, Secretary to the State Government.

The state government said the curfew is untill further notice.

”The curfew begins on Monday. Residents of the two communities should obey the order as security personnel are on strict orders to enforce the curfew directives.

”The government has lifted the curfew imposed on Igbariam, Aguleri, Umueri, Nteje, Awkuzu and Umunya communities on April 26, following the return of normalcy in the areas,” the government said.

It was reported that on Sunday, a violent clash broke out between residents of Anaku and Omor Communities.

The police says three persons have been confirmed dead in a clash between Omor and Anaku communities in Anyamelum Local Government Area of the state.

DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, Police Public Relations Officer in Anambra, told NAN in Awka on Sunday that normalcy has since been restored in the area.

Ikenga said that Mr Chris Owolabi, Commissioner of Police in the state, personally led a team of operatives to quell the crisis between the neighbouring communities.He said that the command is still gathering information on the extent of damage while assuring that efforts were on to avoid deterioration of the situation and ensure lasting peace.

“Normalcy has been restored in the area and our men are still on ground to ensure safety of life and property. So far, we have recovered three bodies which have been deposited at the morgue.

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