Promoting Good Governance.

US Cancels Nigerian Lawmakers’ Visas As House investigate Sex Scandal

House-of-Rep 2013

The United States Embassy has cancelled the visa given to three members of the House of Representatives, just as the House is set to investigate the lawmakers over sexual misconduct allegedly committed while they were in the United States of America.

This was made known by one of the accused lawmakers, Mark Gbillah, who revealed in a letter he wrote to the American ambassador, that they were not given fear hearing before their visas were revoked.

Meanwhile the Chairman, House Committee on Media, Abdulrazak Namdas, also revealed that the House had constituted a committee to investigate the three lawmakers.

This came on the heel of a letter from the US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle to Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

The letter, dated June 9 stated that three of some ten members of the House who recently travelled to Cleveland, Ohio, as participants in the International Visitor Leadership Programme on good governance, engaged in sexual misconduct.

Part of the letter reads: “We received troubling allegations regarding the behaviour of three members of the delegation to the US Government’s flagship professional exchange programme.

“The US Department of State and the Cleveland Council on World Affairs received reports from employees of the Cleveland hotel, where the representatives stayed, alleging that 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 the Representative

“Mark Terseer Gbillah and Samuel Ikon allegedly requested that hotel parking attendants assist them to solicit prostitutes.”

The decision of the House to investigate the lawmakers came as the US formally cancelled its visas from the three lawmakers, an indication that they had been barred from future trips to the United States.

The affected members are Mohammed Garba-Gololo (Bauchi State); Terseer Gbillah (Benue State), and Samuel Ikon (Cross River State).

The three legislators were members of a team of 10 lawmakers nominated to attend the leadership programme, which took place in Cleveland, Ohio, between April 7 and 13 this year.

Some of the members who participated in the programme were Chairman, House Committee on the Diaspora Affairs, Rita Orji; Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Gaza Jonathan; Ayo Omidiran; Danburam Abubakar and Nkole Ndukwe.