Dr. Joi Nunieh, former Acting MD of NDDC, has confirmed that she is safe in Rivers State Government House, after Governor Nyesom Wike had rescued her from house arrest after she had cleverly resisted what seemed like a botched abduction.
She had called Arise Television, on Thursday July 16, 2020, to report that her house was under siege by armed security operatives, and alerted the world of her travails before help came her way in the form of the Rivers State Governor.
She has also expressed profound gratitude to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, for coming to her rescue and relocating her to Government House, after Armed Policemen numbering about 15 besieged her house in Port Harcourt since 4am this morning, with the alleged intent of arresting her, in what many have interpreted as an attempt by men in unmarked cars, without an arrest warrant, claiming to be acting on the orders of the Inspector General of Police, IGP, to take her away
They had banged on the gates, broken down her backgate and attempted to break down the doors into her main apartment, after she had shut them out for asking her to come down without a warrant of arrest.
When Governor Wike arrived and confronted the operatives, they claimed they were just there to invite her, but he queried their modus operandi and after verbally admonishing them for not inviting Dr. Joi Nunieh to their office first before embarking on the seige, ordered them out of the compound and proceeded to the main building, to rescue Dr. Nunieh, who had been watching proceedings from the window of a room upstairs.
He then relocated her to Government House Port Harcourt, from where she gave the interview.
Some insiders allege that the aim of the arrest, was to stop her from appearing before the House of Representatives today and many Eve suggest that any kind of misfortune or even elimination could have befallen her if she had gone with the security operatives.
Dr. Joi Nunieh, who made a number of phone calls to Arise Televion in the course the seige and gave an interview after being rescued by the Rivers Governor, accused those who didn’t want her to tell the truth about what is going on at the NDDC and specifically called out Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, as being responsible for her ordeal.
She further stated that the minister (Akpabio) thinks he can intimidate her with police but she will not be intimidated, adding that “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.’
Dr. Nunieh, who poured encomiums on Governor Wike for coming to her rescue, described him as a true leader, adding that she was aware they had tried to pressure him to retract the warning that no harm should come to her and his timely arrival to rescue her from House arrest is a clear indication that he values Rivers lives just as he had declared in the press statement.
She stated that though she was a ‘refugee’ in Rivers State Government House, she felt very safe there and while declaring confidently that Senator Akpabio cannot kill her since she wasn’t from Akwa Ibom, warned that the Minister should not think he alone had a monopoly of violence adding that she would await the next directive from the National Assembly while her lawyers study the situation to advise her on the next line of action.
Recall that the Rivers State Government had issued a statement on Tuesday, warning that no harm should befall Dr. Joi Nunieh in the course of recent investigation on the NDDC.
The statement, signed by Paulinus Nsirim, Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications and issued on July 14, 2020, read thus:
NDDC PROBE: NOTHING SHOULD HAPPEN TO OUR DAUGHTER
Rivers State Government has viewed with concern, the recent developments at the Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC) in which the name of our daughter, Dr. Joi Nunieh, the immediate past Acting Managing Director of the Commission, has been dragged into.
We hereby call on those involved in the ongoing investigations in the NDDC to ensure that Dr. Joi Nunieh does not suffer any harm in the course of their undertakings.
We wish to state categorically that the Rivers State Government will never support any action that will prevent or jeopardize the laudable intentions of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, to positively reposition the NDDC and fulfill the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the Niger Delta.
However, we wish to state that while we are not interested in identifying with the present unfolding drama in the NDDC, we will not however fail to protect our daughter from actual harm or perceived danger.
The State owes it as a duty to protect her citizens from danger no matter their political affiliation and we cannot fold our hands and watch anyone harm her or indeed any Rivers citizen.
We advise those involved in the present altercations in the NDDC to thread with caution in their actions and utterances.