Sexual Misconduct: Reps Clear Colleagues Of Allegations

House-of-Representatives-in-Rowdy-sessionThe House of Representatives has cleared three of its members of allegations of sexual misconduct brought against them by the former United State Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle.

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.

Reps. To Investigate Sale Of OML 30 Minning Licence

The House of Representatives has resolved to carry out a comprehensive investigation on the sale of oil mining licence, OML 30 to an alleged questionable oil exploring company.

This resolution was reached after Representative Yusuf Tajudeen presented a motion on the security implications bordering the said oil deal.

He said this development will have adverse effect on Nigeria’s revenue, economy, infrastructural and technical development.

The House Committee on Petroleum Resources, Upstream has been mandated to investigate the matter and report to the House within 3 weeks.

UK based explorer Heritage Oil had announced earlier in the year that Nigerian outfit Shoreline Power has agreed to acquire a 14.5 per cent equity slice of the duo’s OML 30 venture.

Heritage Oil and Nigeria’s Shoreline Power acquired OML 30 from Shell, Total and Eni last year in an $850million deal.

The deal came with an option for Shoreline Power to acquire an extra 30 per cent of Heritage Oil’s stake in the joint venture at OML 30.

The prolific block produced 35,704 barrels of oil in November, 15,665 of which was net to Heritage Oil under the prior 55:45 ownership and which yielded the UK explorer an estimated $52million.