The United States government has raised allegations bordering on sexual misconduct and attempted rape against Nigerian lawmakers.
The US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, made the allegation in a letter sent to the Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on June 9.
The accused members are Samuel Ikon (PDP, Akwa Ibom), Mohammed Gololo (APC, Bauchi) and Mark Gbillah (APC, Benue).
The petition says they attempted to commit rape, and solicited sex from prostitutes during their recent trip to Cleveland, United States, for the International Visitor Leadership Program.
In the petition, Mr. Gololo was reported by a hotel house keeper to have grabbed her and sought sex.
Messrs Ikon and Gbillah, allegedly, sought the assistance of hotel park attendants to help them get prostitutes.
Mr. Dogara’s spokesperson, Turaki Hassan, confirmed the Speaker received the petition.
The petition read: “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 assist them to solicit prostitutes.
“The U.S. Mission took pains to confirm these allegations and the identities of the individuals with the employees of the hotel in Cleveland.
“The conduct described above left a very negative impression of Nigeria, casting a shadow on Nigeria’s National Assembly, the International Visitor Leadership Program, and to the American hosts’ impression of Nigeria as a whole. Such conduct could affect some participants’ ability to travel to the United States in the future.
“While the majority of Nigerian visitors to the United States do behave appropriately, even a few Nigerians demonstrating poor judgement leads to a poor impression of the Nigerian people generally, though it is far from accurate. Such incidents jeopardise the ability of future programming and make host institutions and organisations less likely to welcome similar visits in the future.”
“I request, in the strongest possible terms, you share this message with members of the National Assembly so they understand the seriousness of these issues, and the potential consequences of their actions, not only for themselves as individuals, but also for the future of such programmes designed to benefit Nigeria.”