The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, mandated its Committees on Foreign Relations, Ethics and Privileges to investigate allegations of attempted rape and soliciting for prostitutes, leveled against three of its members who recently visited Ohio, United States of America for the International Visitor Leadership Programme.
US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Enwistle, in a June 9, 2016 letter to Speaker Yakubu Dogara, alleged that three members: Mohammed Garba, Mark Gbillah and Samuel Ikon asked a staff of the hotel they were lodged in to engage prostitutes on their behalf while Gololo attempted to rape a housekeeper.
The mandate given the joint committee was subsequent to the adoption of a motion raised under matters of privileges by Gbillah, who, again, flatly denied asking anyone to procure the services of a prostitute on his behalf.
Gbillah, whose motion was presented in an atmosphere of pin-drop silence, explained that he was demanding, on behalf of his colleagues, that the House conduct a “detailed and public” investigation into the matter.
He accused Enwistle of “calculated campaign to tarnish and smear the image of us, lawmakers, and this hallowed institution”.
The lawmaker insisted he had never cheated on his wife. This was even as he pleaded that the House demand a retraction from those he accused of making defamatory statements in the media against him and his colleagues.
“For my colleagues, who don’t know me, and Nigerians out there, I want to categorically state here, for any avoidance of doubt, that no such incident occurred.
“I caution Nigerians who are quick to jump to on her. I wish she was able to come to this hallowed chambers to testify to this. I went on this trip with my wife and my baby. I travel everywhere I go with my wife and baby.”
Speaking on the motion, Chairperson, House Committee on Foreign Relations, Nnenna Ukeje (PDP,Abia), the only member allowed to speak, stressed the importance of conducting a thorough investigation.
In his ruling, Dogara emphasised the importance of the investigation, as, according to him, the reputation of the country was at stake and reiterated an earlier call to uphold the legal mantra that accused persons be considered innocent until proven guilty.