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US Issues Stern Warning, Says Evidence of Sexual Misconduct on Accused Lawmakers Will Be Damaging To Nigeria

The US Government says they would be “forced to release the evidence they have not to Nigeria but to the entire world and that will be very damaging not only to the legislators themselves but to the image of the country.”

The United States is sending a stern warning to the three Nigerian lawmakers who were accused of soliciting sex not to escalate the matter by transmitting a formal letter to it otherwise it will be forced to open a can of worms.

While one of the lawmakers, Mohammed Gololo, was accused of allegedly grabbing a hotel maid and soliciting for sex, the other two, Samuel Ikon and Mark Gbillah, allegedly asked for the assistance of a car park attendant to secure the services of prostitutes during a recent visit to Cleveland in the US for the International Visitor Leadership Programme.

The allegations were contained in a letter written to House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, by American Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, wherein he provided details of the inappropriate conduct of the three lawmakers and advised the speaker to warn the accused to desist from such acts in the future. The envoy said the actions were capable of tarnishing the image of Nigeria and affecting the continuation of the leadership programme.

The lawmakers, however, denied the allegations, describing them as attempts to discredit the National Assembly. A scandalised Dogara had requested the embassy to prove its claims in a series of tweets. “He who alleges must prove. That’s the law. As we speak no evidence has been put forward other than the letter sent to my office and copied to many others,” Dogara said via his Twitter handle @speakerdogara. “Together with the US Embassy in Nigeria we will get to the bottom of this matter and until then let’s not be judgemental.

“Under our laws an accused person is deemed innocent until proven guilty and he enjoys the benefit of any doubt. “Social media trial and conviction of members alleged to have committed the offence is taking up arms against our laws,” tweeted Dogara.

But the US has now said it will go to town with evidence at its disposal if the accused lawmakers who have been quite vociferous in their denials, even threatening to sue, go beyond mere refutations on the pages of newspapers.

“We have been reading about the vigorous denials of the three lawmakers just like everyone else and we hope it stops there. We hope that the legislators do not move beyond that to transmit a formal letter to the US,” said the source. “If they did that the US would not even bother to respond to the letter.

In an effort to get to the bottom of the matter, Dogara had constituted a committee which is charged with the task of finding out what actually transpired.

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