The three lawmakers who are accused of sexual misconduct by the United States Government during a foreign trip might just have been vindicated by the admissions of the outgoing U.S. ambassador to Nigeria.
The ambassador, James Entwistle, who wrote a letter to the speaker of the Hpuse, Yakubu Dogara accusing Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Mr. Terse Mark-Gbillah (All Progressives Congress, Benue); Mr. Samuel Ikon (Peoples Democratic Party, Akwa Ibom); and Mr. Mohammed Garba-Gololo (APC, Bauchi) of sexual misconduct allegedly admitted to the Minister of Foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama that there was no concrete evidence linking the trio to the crimes.
The minister, speaking before the House committees investigating the matter revealed that Entwistle told him that all he did was to bring the allegations to the attention of Dogara, not that the U.S. Government passed any judgment of guilt on the Nigerian legislators.
According to him, Entwistle saw the letter as “private, confidential letter” to Dogara which was only to draw his attention to the fact that the allegations were made against his members, who visited the U.S. in April.
While the ambassador refused to claim responsibility for the leakage of the letter, the minister revealed that he did apologise for not using the formal diplomatic channel of writing the Speaker through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The minister explained that when the matter was brought to his attention, he summoned Entwistle to verify it.
“He told me that these were allegations and nothing more; that as far as they were concerned, the matter was closed.
“That the allegations did not indicate a position that the ambassador had already passed a judgment or the US Government,” Onyeama stated.
The minister further revealed that when he requested for evidence from the ambassador, Entwistle replied that the letter was written to bring to Dogara’s attention to the allegations made by a hotel housekeeper and the park attendants.
The minister added, “I said who made the allegations? He said a hotel maid or cleaner, who said Garba-Gololo made inappropriate request and approached her in the hotel.
“But he now made it clear that the housekeeper would not testify; that she does not want to testify.
“I was surprised that the person who made such a serious allegation was not willing to testify.
“For the parking lot attendants, the ambassador said they identified the lawmakers in photographs.
“I replied that there is clearly a possibility of a legal proceeding for defamation because I thought there was stronger evidence. Again, he apologised that his only point of writing Dogara was to pass information about those allegations.”
hence lawmakers most sue the US ambassador for de-formation of character!
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