Reps in sex scandal, Samuel ikon, Mark Gbillah, Mohammed Garba-Gololo
Nigeria’s House of Representatives is set to probe three members alleged to have committed sexual misconduct in the United States.
A report today said the allegedly randy members will appear before the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges to state their case.
The accused lawmakers are the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Mr. Mark Gbillah ( APC, Benue); Mr. Samuel Ikon (PDP, Akwa Ibom); and Mr. Mohammed Garba-Gololo (APC, Bauchi).
According to the report, the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, had placed the Committee on Ethics and Privileges on notice.
The committee is chaired by a member of the Peoples Democratic Party from Delta State, Mr. Nicholas Osai.
Under the rules of the House, the committee is empowered to recommend punishment for misconduct as it “deems appropriate” after investigation.
Penalties range from suspension from House services for weeks or up to six months, which the Speaker may also extend as it suits him.
Garba-Gololo, Gbillah and Ikon were in the US recently to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Programme on Good Governance organised by the US Government.
The three legislators were on a team of 10 members nominated to attend the leadership programme, which took place in Cleveland, Ohio, between April 7 and 13 this year.
While there, they allegedly solicited the services of prostitutes through car park attendants while one of them assaulted a hotel housekeeper with the intent to rape.
The allegation was contained in a letter the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. James Entwistle, wrote to Dogara.
Entwistle, in his June 9 letter to Dogara, stated, “It is with regret that I must bring to your attention the following situation.
“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 to assist them to solicit prostitutes.”
The members have since denied the allegation and have threatened legal actions to clear their names.
On Thursday, the leadership of the House gave the nod to investigate the allegation.
The US, on its part, quickly revoked the visas of the three members, indicating that they are temporarily barred from visiting that country.