No Evidence Of Sexual Misconduct Against Lawmakers – Foreign Affairs Minister

Sexual MisconductThe Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, says there is no evidence to confirm the allegations of sexual misconduct made against three lawmakers of the House of Representatives.

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.

The Committee met with the Minister after it heard from the three lawmakers who denied the allegations brought against them.

The Minister on Wednesday failed to appear before the joint committee investigating the matter.

It was the second time the Minister and the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, have failed to appear before the Committee.

The Minster, in a letter to the Committee, said that the time for the investigative hearing coincides with the Federal Executive Council meeting in the Presidential Villa.

The Committee had adjourned the meeting last week after another letter from the Minister said he would be away in Kigali, Rwanda for the extra ordinary meeting of the African Union and asked for another date.

The House Committee Chairman on Capital Market, Rep. Yusuf Tajudeen, hadchallenged the U.S Embassy to come and place their facts in the sex allegation against federal lawmakers before the House.

He said the House of Representatives is 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 aphone interview on Sunrise Daily.

He also maintained that the House is convinced that the accused were never engaged in solicitation for sex act.

Sex Scandal Probe: Onyeama, US Ambassador, Again, Fail To Appear Before Committee

house-of-reps-to-reveal-lawmakers'-allowancesThe Minister of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday failed to appear before the joint House of Representatives Committee investigating allegations of sexual misconduct brought against three members of the House.

This is the second time the Minister, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama and the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, have failed to appear before the Committee.

The Minster, in a letter to the Committee, said the time for the investigative hearing coincides with the Federal Executive Council meeting in the Presidential Villa.

The Committee had adjourned the meeting last week after another letter from the Minister said he will be away in Kigali, Rwanda for the extra ordinary meeting of the African Union and asked for another date.

The Committee, however, heard from the three lawmakers who denied the allegations brought against them.

The hearing is expected to resume on Thursday when the minister is expected to appear.

The United States Ambassador, Mr James Entwistle also failed to appear before the meeting.

Mr Entwistle, said there is proof that three members of the Nigerian House of Representatives were seen acting inappropriately in the US.

Mr Entwhistle is to present video evidence against them for alleged sexual misconduct.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

The House Committee Chairman on Capital Market, Rep. Yusuf Tajudeen, had challenged the U.S Embassy to come and place their facts in the sex allegation against federal lawmakers before the House.

He said the House of Representatives is 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 is convinced that the accused were never engaged in solicitation for sex act.

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.

 

Chibok Girls: U.S. Will Continue To Support Nigeria – Ambassador Power

chibok girlsThe U.S. Ambassador to United Nations, Samantha Power on Thursday said the United States will not rest in its support of Nigeria and other neighboring countries to secure the release of abducted people.

Speaking to State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Power noted that the Chibok girls issue is of top priority to her country.

The Ambassador, who came to the Presidential Villa with the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, said the meeting among other issues centered on what the United Nations and the USA are doing as a follow up to the promise to assist Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram.

She said apart from the provision of intelligence, the United States has been able to provide platforms to the Nigerian military in the fight against Boko Haram.

On the recent video showing proof of life of some of the abducted girls aired by CNN, she said the United States will follow every lead that will support the release of the girls.

Power had on Tuesday, pledged $40 million in humanitarian assistance to countries bordering Lake Chad, fighting Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said the money is to help about seven million people affected by the insurgent group that has killed around 15,000 people.

Power was in the capital of Cameroon, Yaounde, and met President Paul Biya.

“We discussed the monstrous threat posed by Boko Haram and we agreed, and he was very forceful on this point, that the military response alone could not succeed in defeating Boko Haram in the long-term,” she said of her meeting with Biya.

Fayemi Seeks America’s Help To Develop Solid Minerals Sector

Solid MineralsThe Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Mr Fayemi Kayode, is requesting the assistance of the United States of America for the development of the sector.

He has asked the American government to provide technical assistance as well as create international market for produce as the federal government is determined to develop the sector to provide alternatives to the nation’s dwindling oil revenue.

Meanwhile, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, during a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, gave an assurance of the cooperation of the American Geological Survey.

US Pledges Partnership With Nigeria On Security

US Pledges To Partner Nigeria On SecurityThe United States (US) government has pledged to assist Nigeria in finding ways to improve the security in the oil-rich nation.

The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, made the promise at a meeting with Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Dambazu in Abuja.

Mr Entwistle promised his country’s assistance in the areas of man power development to improve Nigeria’s internal security.

He said his first team of trainers on security governance initiative would be in Nigeria by January.

According to him, the Minister of Interior promised government’s continued partnersip with US on security matters.

The meeting between Mr Entwistle, Lieutenant General Dambazu was based on the need to sustain the achievements Nigeria had made in the north-east through sustained training of security personnel.

US Celebrates 239th Independence, Pledges Support For Nigeria

usAs the United States (US) celebrates its 239th Independence Anniversary, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, has assured Nigeria of continued support towards a stronger democracy and a free and independent people.

Mr Entwistle said Nigeria’s freedom in different sectors of the economy, including its fight against corruption, insecurity, financial instability and infrastructure development will receive continued support from the US.

He noted that Nigeria and America have both overcome deep and devastating losses through history, and will continue to overcome all challenges towards a formidable force in the future, adding that “Nigerians have no better friends than the US”.

He maintained that both countries had deep wounds and devastating losses through their histories.

”I told former President Goodluck Jonathan when I arrived in Nigeria in November 2013, and Secretary of State John Kerry told President Muhammadu Buhari when they met immediately after inauguration.

”I am sure President Barack Obama will tell President Buhari when he receives him in Oval Office at the White House on July 20.

”The people of Nigeria have no better friend than the United States.

”In my country, our commitment to democracy is right there in our Declaration of Independence.

”Here in Nigeria, you demonstrated to the world your commitment to democracy in historic elections earlier this year.

”In both of our great countries, commitment to democracy is deeply woven into our status as free and independent peoples,” Entwistle said.

He also said that the US stands with every Nigerian who believes that the country can be healthier, safer and more prosperous; as both countries have in time past worked together on issues like elections, security, Niger Delta, fighting infectious diseases and spurring broad-based.

“For me, this is an exciting time to be in Nigeria. In the past year, we’ve seen Nigerian doctors and nurses defeat Ebola.

“We’ve seen the Nigerian military reclaim territory from Boko Haram.

“And most of all, we’ve seen the Nigerian people go to the polls and defy expectations, made their voices heard as they insisted that their votes count.

“Thanks to them, the light of Nigerian democracy shines brightly across the continent,” he said.

The U.S. envoy said that as Nigeria fought Boko Haram and rebuilt the Northeast, the U.S. would continue to help in every appropriate way.

”As you lead the efforts to provide humanitarian aid to those driven from their communities and help them return home, we assist with food, medical care, and education programmes.

”As you fight corruption, we offer technical assistance, training for investigators and prosecutors, and a commitment to ensure that no stolen funds are laundered through our banking system.

”As you improve the business climate, we encourage trade and investment.

”As you continue privatisation of your power grid, through President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative, we stand ready to go.

”Among other things, we will help companies invest in building more electricity infrastructure, especially environmentally-friendly power generation.

”As you increase your commitment to health-care and education, we support those efforts too,” Entwistle added.

UN Urges Heads Of Government To Promote Equal Rights

Human-Rights-DayThe United Nations (UN) has reiterated the need for heads of government to promote equal rights.

The UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Dauda Toure, gave the message in Abuja on Wednesday, as Nigeria joins the rest of the world to observe the International Human Rights Day.

At an event organised to mark the Human Rights Day,  Mister Toure says arbitrary arrests and detention by government agencies is a gross violation of human rights.

He advised government agencies to respect peoples’ rights at all times.

The Head of the European delegation to Nigeria, Michel Arrion, also called for the abrogation of death penalty just as the US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, appealed for the protection of peoples rights.

For the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Chairman of the Governing Council of the Human Rights body, Professor Chidi Odinkalu, the issue of insurgency remained a major rights violation.

The chairman, NHRC Governing council emphasised that the UN General Assembly in 1950 proclaimed December 10 as Human Rights Day to bring to the attention of the peoples of the world the need for rights of individuals to be upheld  and respected.

The International Human Rights Day honours and affirms the activities of all persons around the world aimed At bringing to an end discrimination in any shape or Form.

US Reiterates Commitment To Supporting Nigeria

James EntwistleThe United States of America has again expressed commitment to supporting Nigeria in the war against terror, saying it is optimistic and positive that Nigeria will win the war.

At the ceremony held in Abuja on Saturday to mark the US 238th independence anniversary, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, said his country was also committed to helping Nigeria achieve free, fair, peaceful and credible elections in the 2015 general elections.

“As we stand with Nigeria in its democratic journey, I want to make it clear that the assistance that we have offered over the years is in the same spirit that was offered to us by many other nations as we began our democratic journey.

“You have many friends and partners who want Nigeria to succeed and the United States stands at the front of that line,” Mr Entwistle said.

Security Partnership

He highlighted aspects that the US was partnering on with Nigeria, stressing that the US was in Nigeria to do things with Nigeria and not for Nigeria.

Giving the recent spate of kidnapping, bombing and other despicable acts of terror by a terrorist group, Boko Haram, the US envoy said that security partnership was at the forefront of his country’s work with Nigeria at the moment.

“We want Nigeria to win its war on terror and we are here to support you in that effort. It may seem that we suddenly sprang to Nigeria’s aid in the wake of the horrific Chibok girls kidnappings but the truth is that we have been working closely with you on this issue for a long time and that journey will continue.

“We see a lot of ourselves in you. We are a nation made up of many peoples who have had to figure out how to live together in peace and harmony.

“We struggled through civil war, we struggled to develop economically and reduce poverty and we struggled to ensure equal rights for all of our citizens.

He further assured Nigerians that as other countries helped his country along the way, “the United States stands with Nigeria as a friend and partner”.

The ceremony, which was held at the United States Embassy in Abuja, was attended by members of the diplomatic community and Nigerian governors, party leaders and individuals from the entertainment industry.