The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has said that the “evidence” given by the outgoing United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, on the allegations of s*xual misconduct against three members of the House of Representatives, was weak.
Mr Entwsitle had in a June 9, 2016 letter to Speaker Yakubu Dogara, alleged that Reps Mohammed Garba Gololo (APC, Bauchi), Mark Gbillah (APC, Benue) and Samuel Ikon (PDP, A/Ibom) were involved in s*xual misconducts while attending a leadership programme in Cleveland, Ohio, in April.
The accused lawmakers denied the allegations and dared the outgoing U.S envoy to produce the purported video evidence that showed them soliciting for prostitutes from a car park attendant and grabbing a hotel maid.
Mr. Entwistle was expected to attend Thursday’s hearing of the joint committees on ethics and privileges and foreign affairs today in Abuja alongside the minister, but for the second time in one week, he shunned the committees.
In his testimony, Onyeama said based on his meeting with Entwistle on the matter, the only evidence used by the envoy in making the allegations was the identification of the lawmakers in a photograph.
The minister said what was more disturbing was the fact that the ambassador said the housemaid who made the allegations that she was grabbed by Rep Gololo, was not ready to testify before any court of law in the US.
“Regarding my meeting with the US ambassador, the first point I made to him was that he didn’t at any point notify the ministry about the matter. And he said it was his failing and apologized. He said he deemed fit to write a private letter to the speaker.
“I asked him what kind of evidence they obtained that emboldened him to write such letter? I told him that without evidence, it would amount to a defamatory act and that legal action could be taken.
“He said the hotel management reported the matter. He said the lady made it clear that she would not testify. I was very surprised by this information, because the person who made the allegations was not willing to make testimony about the allegations”, he said.