Nigeria’s foreign minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, has cast doubts on the ability of the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, to substantiate his allegation that Nigerian lawmakers were involved in sexual misconduct in the U.S.
Mr. Onyeama said Mr. Entwistle had confirmed to him that the victims of the alleged assaults had declined to give testimony to House of Representatives Committee on Ethics, which commenced inquiries into the matter last week.
Mr. Onyeama appeared before the committee on Thursday.
Mr. Entwistle “confirmed that the allegations were made and he told me that the hotel housekeeper has refused to testify in respect of the matter” Mr. Onyeama said.
Mr. Onyeama said the allegations appeared ambiguous and spurious.
“The allegations are ambiguous. He did not present any evidence nor did he indicate that they have any corroborative evidence,” Mr. Onyeama said.
Mr. Entwistle had in a petition he addressed to House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, on June 9, said Mohammed Galolo, Samuel Ikon and Mark Gbillah indulged in sexual misbehavior at a hotel in the U.S. when the three lawmakers traveled there for a leadership program.
The petition immediately became a nationwide sensation, with many Nigerians calling for an immediate reprimand of the named lawmakers.
The lawmakers have vehemently denied the allegations and called for a thorough investigation.
The three lawmakers testified before Mr. Ossai’s committee on Wednesday during which they accused the U.S. Ambassador of plotting to embarrass the Nigerian parliament.
On June 16, Mr. Dogara commissioned the Ethics, Privileges and Foreign Affairs Committee to carry out a holistic investigation into the “embarrassing” development and appointed Mr. Ossai to chair it.
The Chairman of the Committee, Nicholas Ossai, told PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday that the body had concluded its public findings for now and would now hold regular between amongst members to put together a report that would be presented to the leadership of the House.
Mr. Entwistle had twice rejected invitation from the committee for him to come and substantiate his allegations.
The U.S. Embassy in Abuja repeatedly declined PREMIUM TIMES’ request for comments, saying they don’t comment on “private diplomatic correspondents.”
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...