The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle has reportedly accused three Nigerian lawmakers of soliciting for prostitutes during an official visit to the US.
According to a New Telegraph report, Entwistle also accused the lawmakers, who are members of the House of Representatives, of attempted rape and improper conduct.
The Ambassador is further said to have reported the legislators, identified as Mohammed Garba Gololo (Bauchi), Samuel Ikon (Akwa Ibom) and Mark Gbillah (Benue), to House of Reps Sepaker, Yakubu Dogara.
Entwistle is said to have filed the complaint via a letter dated June 9, 2016, addressed to Speaker Dogara and obtained by New Telegraph.
The letter reads:
“Ten members of the Nigerian National Assembly recently travelled to Cleveland, Ohio as participants in the International Visitor Leadership Programme on good governance. We received troubling allegations regarding the behaviour of three members of the delegation to the U.S. Government’s flagship professional exchange programme.”
“The U.S. Department of State and the Cleveland Council on World Affairs received reports from employees of the Cleveland hotel where the representatives stayed, alleging 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 Representative Gololo. Mark Terseer Gbillah and Samuel Ikon allegedly requested hotel parking attendants assist them to solicit prostitutes.
“The U.S. Mission took pains to confirm these allegations and the identities of the individuals with the employees of the hotel in Cleveland. The conduct described above left a very negative impression of Nigeria, casting a shadow on Nigeria’s National Assembly, the International Visitor Leadership Program, and to the American hosts’ impression of Nigeria as a whole. Such conduct could affect some participants’ ability to travel to the United States in the future.
“While the majority of Nigerian visitors to the United States do behave appropriately, even a few Nigerians demonstrating poor judgement leads to a poor impression of the Nigerian people generally, though it is far from accurate.
“Such incidents jeopardise the ability of future programming and make host institutions and organisations less likely to welcome similar visits in the future.
“In addition, most of the members of this group reacted very negatively to my deputy when she brought this matter to their attention, further calling into question their judgement and commitment to the goals of the International Visitor Leadership Programme.
“This leads us to question whether to include National Assembly members for other similar programmes in the future. I request, in the strongest possible terms, you share this message with members of the National Assembly so they understand the seriousness of these issues, and the potential consequences of their actions, not only for themselves as individuals, but also for the future of such programmes designed to benefit Nigeria.”
Ten Nigerian lawmakers visited Cleveland, Ohio on the invitation of the US government to attend the International Visitor Leadership Program which held between April 7 and 13, 2016.