Sex scandal: US Ambassador ignores Reps probe again
ABUJA — THE outgoing United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, yesterday, failed again to appear before the House of Representatives investigative hearing committee on the alleged sex misconduct involving three members of the House.
This is as the three members involved in the sex scandal accused the ambassador of racial discrimination, adding that the allegation, which they claimed never existed, was a plot to smear the image of the country. They also said the absence of the ambassador and the postponement of the investigative hearing on two occasions were a denial in disguise. The three members facing allegations of sexual misconduct are Mohammed Garba Gololo (APC, Bauchi); Samuel Ikon (PDP, Akwa Ibom) and Mark Gbillah (APC, Benue). Entwistle had, in a petition to Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, alleged that the actions of the three lawmakers at the International Visitor Leadership Programme in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, from 7th to 13th April, 2016, brought disrepute to the parliament. He alleged that the three lawmakers solicited for sex from prostitutes and grabbed a hotel housekeeper in a bid to rape. Accused members threaten legal action against Entwistle But the lawmakers, who appeared at the Ossai Nicholas Ossai-led Committee, insisted they were innocent of the allegations against them, and demanded that the envoy produced evidence to substantiate his claims. Testifying before the joint House committee, the accused lawmakers described the allegations by Entwistle as false and baseless. They also threatened legal action against the ambassador and the US government, if they failed to apologize to them or substantiate the allegation, in line with global practice. Onyema, Entwistle to appear today Adjourning the hearing, Chairman of the committee, Ossai Ossai, ruled that the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyema and Mr. Entwistle must appear unfailingly before the committee today by 10 am, while the other seven members, who were on the trip, would also give their testimony. Why Onyema didn’t appear Earlier, the co-chair person of the committee and Chairperson, House Committee on Foreign Relations, Nnena Elendu-Ukeje, stated that the absence of the minister was as result of the just concluded African Union meeting held in Kigali, Rwanda. She said the minister was expected to brief the Federal Executive Council, FEC, on the outcome of the AU summit. The committee adjourned till today, while the seven other lawmakers on the trip were told to submit their reports on what transpired during the programme.