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US Sex Allegations Against Lawmakers Spurious – Foreign Affairs Minister
Nigeria’s foreign minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, said he has his doubts on the ability of the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, to substantiate the allegation of sexual misconduct against three Nigerian lawmakers in the U.S.
Entwistle had written to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, , Yakubu Dogara, alleging that three members of the house namely, Mohammed Galolo, Samuel Ikon and Mark Gbillah were involved in sexual misbehavior at a hotel during a US-sponsored leadership programme in Cleveland, Ohio.
Dogara immediately set up a fact-finding committee to investigate the matter and ascertain the true nature of things, following the vehement denial of the affected lawmakers of involvement in such unbecoming behavior.
Days before the first public hearing on the matter, Ambassador Entwistle was reported as saying that he would provide video evidence to substantiate his claims, but on the day of the hearing, Entwistle failed to turn up.
Chairman of the Committee, Nicholas Ossai, rescheduled the hearing to Thursday, 21 July in a bid to allow the Ambassador come up with his evidence, but again, the US Ambassador did not show up.
The foreign affairs minister, who appeared before the house, told the lawmakers that Entwistle had confirmed to him that the victims of the alleged assaults had declined to give testimony to House of Representatives Committee on Ethics.
Entwistle “confirmed that the allegations were made and he told me that the hotel housekeeper has refused to testify in respect of the matter,” Onyeama said.
He added that “The allegations are ambiguous. He (Entwistle) did not present any evidence nor did he indicate that they have any corroborative evidence”.
The three accused lawmakers had on Wednesday given their testimony before the committee, accusing the U.S. Ambassador of deliberately embarrassing the Nigerian parliament.
The house committee chairman told journalists that the committee has concluded its findings and is compiling a report to present to the House leadership.