Three members of the House of Representatives who were accused of sexual misconduct were on Tuesday absolved after careful investigation by Joint Committees on Ethics/Privileges and Foreign Relations jointly chaired by Mr. Nicholas Ossai and Ms. Nnena Ukeje.
A former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. James Entwistle had accused the trio of conduct considered sexually offensive during a leadership training visit to the US last April.
Among the accused senators are; the House Deputy Chairman, Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Mr. Terse Mark-Gbillah (APC, Benue); Mr. Samuel Ikon (PDP, Akwa Ibom); and Mr. Mohammed Garba-Gololo (APC, Bauchi).
According to Punch, the tide of the allegations changed in favour of Mark-Gbillah, Garba-Gololo and Ikon after the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, appeared before the committees on July 21 to testify that the US did not produce any concrete evidence to prove the allegations.
Entwistle too failed to appear before the committees while a female maid in a US hotel, who alleged that Garba-Gololo “grabbed” her, also declined to testify.
A report of the committees, which was considered and approved by the House in Abuja on Tuesday, cleared the members of any wrongdoing in the US.
The report made three recommendations to the session, which was presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Yussuff Lasun.
It read: “That Hon. Mohammed Garba Gololo, Hon. Mark Terseer Gbillah and Hon. Samuel Ikon are cleared of and exonerated from the allegations levelled against them by the United States Ambassador to Nigeria in his June 9, 2016 letter to the Rt. Hon. Speaker for want of evidence.
“That in the light of the foregoing, the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs do engage with the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, with a view to finding a seamless resolution of the domestic fallout of this unfortunate incident as it relates to Hon. Mohammed Garba-Gololo, Hon. Mark Terseer Gbillah and Hon. Samuel Ikon.
“That the Ministry of Foreign Affairs do write to remind the United States Embassy of the need to always adopt the official channel of communications in its dealings with any organ or institution of government.”
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