Godswill Akpabio: Nigeria’s New Senate President corrupt life unveiled
Godswill Akpabio, the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, has been elected as the new Senate President of the 10th National Assembly. However, his victory comes with a history of controversies, including corruption allegations and accusations of sexual harassment fact check can reveal.
Akpabio faced an investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in June 2015 over the alleged theft of approximately N108 billion during his tenure as governor of Akwa Ibom State.
The corruption allegations received attention from American diplomats who described the level of corruption as “exceptional” during his time in office. Additionally, in May 2020, Akpabio was investigated by the national assembly for the misappropriation of N40 billion from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) funds. These allegations have raised concerns about his suitability for the position of Senate President.
Joy Nunieh, a former acting managing director of NDDC, accused Akpabio of attempting to silence her by demanding she take an oath to prevent her from exposing fraud at the commission. Nunieh also accused him of sexual harassment and claimed to have slapped him at his guest house in Abuja. Akpabio denied these allegations and filed a defamation lawsuit against Nunieh. These serious allegations have further tarnished Akpabio’s reputation and have led to questions about his ethical conduct and ability to hold a position of leadership in the Senate.
Despite the controversies surrounding Akpabio, he secured victory in the election for Senate President with 63 votes, defeating his only challenger, Abdul’aziz Yari, a former Governor of Zamfara State, who received 46 votes. However, some senators from Akpabio’s own party rebelled against his selection by the party leadership and President Bola Tinubu. Opposition members and interest groups also opposed his candidacy due to corruption allegations, accusations of disrespect for the national assembly, and mismanagement of NDDC funds during his tenure.
The corruption allegations against Akpabio are serious and have elicited concerns about his integrity and suitability for public office. The EFCC investigated the theft of N108 billion during his governorship, but no charges were filed. Furthermore, in March 2023, the EFCC invited Akpabio for questioning regarding allegations of abuse of office and misappropriation of funds. Akpabio’s lawyer cited a scheduled medical appointment overseas as the reason for his client’s inability to attend the invitation. These ongoing investigations contribute to the public’s apprehension about Akpabio’s appointment as Senate President.
The sexual harassment allegation made by Joy Nunieh against Akpabio is another grave concern. Nunieh claimed that Akpabio wanted her to engage in fraudulent activities at NDDC and accused him of sexual assault. Akpabio vehemently denied these allegations and initiated legal action against Nunieh for defamation. The allegations have further damaged Akpabio’s reputation and brought into question his character and suitability for the role of Senate President. The seriousness of these accusations necessitates a thorough investigation to ensure justice and maintain the integrity of Nigeria’s political institutions.
Godswill Akpabio’s election as Senate President is marred by controversies, including corruption allegations and accusations of sexual harassment. The ongoing investigations and serious claims against him raise concerns about his ability to effectively lead and serve the interests of the Nigerian people.
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