DR. JOI NUNIEH: Among her people, she is commonly called the “Esther of Ogoniland”. A woman of deep compassion and nobility, this is as much for her great sense of integrity and kindness, as it is for her relentless struggle for a better Niger Delta and her peoples.
Gbene Dr. Joi Nunieh exemplifies bravery, courage and fearless commitment to good causes. Most of her her life age has built a reputation of ine who is an achiever. She has left no one in doubt that she has thE capacity and inclination to turn around dire public image and institutional deficits of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, where she has recently been appointed the Acting Managing Director.
Trained as a lawyer, with over 30-year experience in active practice, Joi Nunieh is the managing partner of Nunieh & Nunieh, a law firm she co-partnered with her father, the first ever Ogoni lawyer.
As a world acclaimed human rights lawyer, she has always devoted her time to human liberty and social integrity. In the course of her practice, she has represented clients in international and regional human rights courts and war crimes tribunals and has maintained a strong relationship with local, national and international human rights and environmental peace organisations.
Her pedigree was evidenced when she stood firmly by the late himan rights activist, Mr. Ken Saro Wiwa, at the peak of the Ogoni struggle in 1993. In the non-violent protest against Shell Petroleum Development Company, she would become a clear voice of reason and urgent attention to the vexed issues of environmental degradation of Ogoni and the resultant poverty. She joined forces to agitate against environmental and public health threats that faced Ogoniland.
She holds the revered Ogoni title of “Gbene”, the 6th female Gbene in the history of Ogoni.
Being a relentless and very strategic leader, she comes as a bridge builder who recognises the need for greater understanding in the work environment. As a specialist in comprehensive conflict resolution, development, prevention and rehabilitation strategist, she led the implementation of peace and conflict-sensitive projects and activities in Ogoniland.
She also coordinated a pilot project on crisis prevention and conflict transformation, commissioned for the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People ( MOSOP), as well as conducted peace and conflict related education seminars with youths and community leaders.
For her contributions to the struggle for human liberty, her name has been eternally engraved on the marble of time. She has remained a source of pride to members of her family, the Ogoniland, Rivers State and the entire Niger Delta region, as well as associates and friends across Nigeria.
A staunch member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Gbene Dr. Joi Nunieh played, for 12 years, opposition politics, driven by her passion for a better life for all around her. Hers is a deep rooted ideology of change for a better Nigerian society and improved living conditions for the people of the Niger Delta region. As loyal party member she has been on the board of All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and Congress for Progress and Change (CPC).
She was the only woman among the founding promoters and members who registered CPC as a political party and became the first and only female member of the party’s Board of Trustees. Nunieh specialises in Energy and Resource law, Envornmental Law, Human Rights, Corporate and Commercial Law, Intellectual Property Law, Arbitration, Mediation, Peace-keeping, Analytical Negotiation, Coalition and Conflict Resolution.
Soon after her graduation from the prestigious Rivers State University of Sconce and Technology, with an LLB degree in law in 1990, she started her early career at the chambers of Ajumogobia, Okeke, Oyebode & Aluko, in Lagos.
Between 1992 and 1993, she worked briefly with Rhodes and Rhodes, in Lagos State, ( Litigation Associates). She completed her compulsory National Youth Service ( NYSC) in an oil service firm NIGUS in 1991. In 1993, she became an associate at Cyrus Nunieh and Company (Gbogbara Chambers) Port Harcourt.
Gbene Dr. Joi Nunieh has chaired the board of many organisations, including: National Centre for Women Development, Cyrus and Jenny Ltd., Metu International Services Ltd., Sigma Pension, Wakazi Communication Ltd., Hawki West Africa, Doga Enerji Ltd., Sistercities Vocation Training and Rehabilitation Centre, Sejoy farms and member Rivers State Economic Advisory Council.
As a member of the presidential Campaign team of the All Nigeria Peoples Party in 2003, she set up and coordinated the legal team for presidential election petition, in the case between ANPP and PDP, at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
A strong supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari, particularly in all his campaigns to be elected as President of the Federal Government of Nigeria, she has travelled the length and breadth of the country. She also served in various positions as a loyal party member.
Gbene Dr. Joi Nunieh has received numerous honours and awards, which include: Outstanding Young Person of the year in 2000, for her contribution to children, World Peace and Human Right Award of Excellence by Nigeria Prison Service, Institute of Chartered Mediators Award, UST College Jaycees Award for Leadership, the National Youths Council Award, National Union of Ogoni Student Award for Excellence, Methodist Church Nigeria Award for Excellence and the International Human Rights Law Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation.
She holds a Ph.D in Law and Divinity (Honoris Causa) from the America Trinity University.