Ambassador of the United States to Nigeria, James Entwistle, is to present video evidence against the three members of the House of Representatives on Thursday when Ossai Ossai Committee assigned to probe the alleged sex misconduct involving the trio begins open public hearing.
The three accused members include Mohammed Garba Gololo (APC, Bauchi); Samuel Ikon (PDP, Akwa Ibom) and Mark Gbillah (APC, Benue). Entwistle had in a petition to Dogara, alleged that the actions of the three lawmakers at the International Visitor Leadership Programme in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, from April 7 to 13, 2016, brought disrepute to the parliament.
The Ambassador had alleged that the Reps solicited for sex from prostitutes and grabbing hotel housekeeper in a bid to rape.
Vanguard reliably gathered that the committee had been unable to sit because some of the members had gone pilgrimage to Mecca during the Ramadan. It was also gathered that the committee decided not to extend the invitation to the hotel management as the ambassador, who released the information through a letter to the speaker, Yakubu Dogara, is expected to have all the documentary evidence against the three accused members.
Apart from the US Ambassador that is expected at the hearing, the committee also extended invitation to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, the three accused lawmakers as well as the other seven members that attended the leadership programme.
Speaking to Vanguard on phone, Chairman of the committee, Ossai, said the committee decided not to invite the management of the hotel where the alleged sex misconduct took place because it believed the Ambassador would come with all the necessary video evidence on the act.
He added: “When I am given a job, I do it diligently. I don’t compromise anything. My reputation and the reputation of the House is at stake.”
Recall that the Speaker, Dogara, while inaugurating the Ossai-led Ethics Committee alongside the Foreign Affairs after the House resolution at plenary on Tuesday, June 21, mandated it to investigate the culpability of the three members involved in the alleged sex misconduct.
He described the assignment as a very serious one, since many people had already made their conclusion that the three accused lawmakers were culpable.
He, however, stated that “the standard in the US is that an accused is assumed innocent until proven guilty and that is the same standard in Nigeria. Any one who has evidence can now see the committee.”