HOUSE of Representatives has cleared the three lawmakers accused of sexual misconduct by the United States. The decision of the lower chamber to exonerate them was sequel to recommendations of the joint committees of ethics and privileges and foreign affairs who had investigated the matter. The recommendations given by the committees were: “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 does 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
does 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.” The house approved of the recommendations after it was put to a voice vote by Yusuf Lasun, deputy speaker. James Entwistle, the then American ambassador to Nigeria, had written to the house in June, accusing Ikon, Gololo and Gbillah of seeking the services of sex workers while they were attending a leadership programme in Cleveland, Ohio, in the US. “It is with regret that I must bring to your attention the following situation. Ten members of the Nigerian national assembly recently travelled to Cleveland, Ohio, as participants in the International Visitor Leadership Programme on good governance,” read Entwistle’s letter. “We received troubling allegations regarding the behaviour of three members of the delegation to the U.S. Government’s flagship professional exchange programme.‎ “The U.S. Department of State
and the Cleveland Council on World Affairs received reports from employees of the Cleveland hotel where the representatives stayed, alleging the representatives engaged in the following behaviour: ‘Mohammed Garba Gololo allegedly grabbed a housekeeper in his hotel room and solicited her for sex. “While the housekeeper reported this to her management, this incident could have involved local law enforcement and resulted in legal consequences for Representative Gololo. Mark Terseer Gbillah and Samuel Ikon allegedly requested hotel parking attendants assist them to solicit prostitutes. “The U.S. Mission took pains to confirm these allegations and the identities of the individuals with the employees of the hotel in Cleveland. “The conduct described above left a very negative impression of Nigeria, casting a shadow on Nigeria’s national assembly, the International Visitor Leadership Program, and to the American hosts’ impression of Nigeria as a whole. Such conduct could affect some participants’ ability to travel to the United States in the future.


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