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Friday, 17 June 2016

Alleged misconduct by the U.S Embassy on Nigerian Lawmakers

The House of Representatives yesterday said it has commenced investigation into allegation of sexual misconduct leveled against three of its members by the U.S embassy. The three lawmakers are Mohammed Garba Gololo (APC, Bauchi), Mark Terseer Gbillah (APC, Benue) and Emmanuel Ikon (PDP, A/Ibom).

Describing how the incident happened in a letter addressed to Speaker Dogara, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, said the “conduct could affect some participants’ ability to travel to the U.S in the future.” Entwistle said in the letter that “It is with regret that I must bring to your attention the following situation.

10 members of the Nigerian National Assembly recently traveled to Cleveland, Ohio as participants in the International Visitor Leadership Program on good governance. We received troubling allegations regarding the behavior of three members of the delegation to this, the U.S. Government’s flagship professional exchange program.

The U.S. Department of State and the Cleveland Council on World Affairs received reports from employees of the Cleveland hotel where the representatives stayed, alleging the representatives engaged in the following behavior.

One of the lawmakers allegedly grabbed a housekeeper in his hotel room and solicited for sex, while the two others allegedly requested hotel parking attendants to assist them to solicit prostitutes.”

Addressing a press conference yesterday, House spokesman, Namdas, said investigation into the alleged misconduct has commenced and it remains an allegation until the investigation is concluded. The US embassy has written the 3 members cancelling their visas to the US.

One of the accused members, Gbillah, in a letter to the US ambassador has threatened legal action against the US government and the hotel. He accused the US of not giving them fair hearing. On his part, Ikon, claimed that the allegation levelled against him was not only untrue but also a case of mistaken identity.

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