Sexual Misconduct: Reps Clear Colleagues Of Allegations
This is one of the recommendations approved by the House after considering the report of a joint committee that investigated the matter.
Two All Progressive Congress (APC) lawmakers, Mohammed Gololo and Mark Gbillah and one Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker, Samuel Okon, were alleged to have solicited for sex and sexually harassed a hotel housekeeper in Cleveland, Ohio.
The joint committee said it found that there was no evidence to back up the allegations levelled against the lawmakers.
The House is also asking that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to write to the United State Embassy, reminding them to always adopt official means of communications in its dealings with any organ or institution of government.
After the US envoy made the allegations against the lawmakers, the House Committee Chairman on Capital Market, Representative Yusuf Tajudeen, asked the U.S. Embassy to up with facts and place them before the House.
He said the House of Representatives was expecting the U.S. Embassy to provide video evidence of the allegations made against some members.
“We want them to place their facts and confront our colleagues” he said via a phone interview on Sunrise Daily.
He also maintained that the House was convinced that the accused were never engaged in solicitation for sex act.
He further noted that “Hon (Mark) Gbillah travelled with his wife and daughter”.
Rep Tajudeen, however, wondered why the accused were not called for questioning during their two-week stay in the United States and why it took the U.S. Embassy over four weeks after their (lawmakers) return to lodge the complaint.
Responding to the request, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria said there was a proof that three members of the House were seen acting inappropriately in the US.
Mr Entwistle said he would present video evidence against them for alleged sexual misconduct.
The U.S. Ambassador in a petition to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, said their actions brought disrepute to the parliament.
The House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, chaired by Ossai Ossai was asked to investigate the matter.
In the course of further investigations into the issue, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, said there was no evidence to confirm the allegations.
The Minister put forward this position when he appeared before the joint House of Representatives Committee investigating allegations of sexual misconduct brought against three members of the House.
The Minister’s presentation is based on an interaction he had with the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, concerning a letter he wrote to the Speaker of the House of Representatives.