There are indications
that the US embassy may have been directed by its home government to
cancel the visas of three members of the House of Representatives
variously accused of attempted rape and soliciting for s3x, even as
investigations were still ongoing.
legislators, according to report, include: Mohammed Garba Gololo (APC,
Bauchi), Samuel Ikon (PDP, Akwa Ibom) and Mark Gbillah (APC, Benue).
They have all denied the allegations.
the affected federal legislators, Hon. Gbilla, in his reaction to the
development, expressed surprise that the US embassy had gone ahead to
withdraw his visa even when the allegation against him and his
colleagues were yet to be proved.
legislators were accused of attempted rape and soliciting for sex from
prostitutes while on a trip to the United States. The three
representatives were among 10 lawmakers invited by the US Government for
the programme held between April 7 and 13, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.
however, Gbillah expressed surprise that within some hours of bringing
the matter to the attention of the House, the US Government had gone
ahead to cancel their visas. He threatened to immediately institute
legal actions against the US Government, the Ambassador and the Marriot
Hotel Brand, among others for damages.
Gbillah’s letter, which was dated June 16, read, “Without conclusive
evidence of any sort or contact with any of the accused individuals, the
US State Department and US Embassy in Nigeria have less than six days
after your letter to the Speaker, gone ahead to revoke the US visas of
the accused individuals based on hearsay from the employees of the hotel
individuals received correspondence from the US Embassy on Wednesday,
June 15, 2016, indicating the denial of their US visas and requesting
that they bring their passports with the current US visa to the
letter was copied to Dogara, the US Secretary of State, Nigeria’s
Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Cleveland Council of World Affairs, and
the President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International.
On his part, Ikon claimed that the allegation levelled against him was not only untrue but also a case of mistaken identity.
stated, “My attention has been drawn to the publication, alleging an act
of impropriety against me by the US Mission in Nigeria.
“I wish to state unequivocally that this is false and definitely not me.
to me, is a case of mistaken identity and I have already instituted
measures both legally and diplomatically to clear my name and the
institution I represent.
Hon. Gololo had through BBC Hausa service denied the allegation calling
on United States government to commence investigation into the matter
to unravel the truth behind the act.
said, “I feel bad about the report because it’s not true. U.S is an
advanced country where we have camera and CCTV all over, if it were
true, CCTV would have discovered it while I was in U.S. so I challenge
the U.S. Government to provide full evidence.
of my supporters have been calling to inform me that such allegation had
been levelled against lawmakers from Gamawa in the past so I feel it’s a
repetition of the same allegation to tarnish my image but I will defend
myself,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara has ordered immediate investigation into the case.
parliament announced that it had commenced investigations into
allegations of improper conduct levelled against three of its members by
James Entwistle, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria.
in receipt of a letter from the US ambassador, alleging misconduct by
some members of the National Assembly, who attended a training programme
in the United States of America,” House spokesman, Abdulrazak Namdas
leadership of the house has commenced its own part of the investigation.
When it is concluded, we will brief Nigerians further on this issue,”
Entwistle brought the incident to the notice of the House via a letter written to Speaker, Yakubu Dogara on June 9.