indexSPEAKER of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, is yet to assign any particular committee or set up a panel to investigate the allegations of improper conduct, attempted rape and soliciting for prostitutes in Ohio, United States of America, USA, against three members of the House during international leadership programme. Dogara had, weekend, stated that the three lawmakers were adjudged innocent until found guilty by any panel or committee. “Judgment can only be passed when an allegation is proven,” the Speaker had stated. The three members, according to the letter from the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. James Entwistle, to the Speaker, are Mohammed Garba Gololo (APC, Bauchi); Samuel Ikon (PDP, Akwa Ibom) and Mark Gbillah (APC, Benue). Entwistle had, in the petition to Dogara, alleged that the actions of the three lawmakers at the International Visitor Leadership Programme, brought disrepute to the parliament by soliciting for sex from prostitutes and grabbing hotel housekeeper in a bid to rape. One of the lawmakers, Gbillah told Vanguard that three of them would be addressing the allegation against them today in a press conference and will “take legal action accordingly.” This is also as their positions as Committee Chairman and Deputy Chairmen are being threatened on moral grounds, as some persons have insinuated that they should step aside from the committees’ leadership, pending the outcome of the investigation. Though the House had, through its Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazak Namdas, disclosed to journalists that the House had started investigations on the allegations, Vanguard gathered that no committee had been formally assigned to carry out the investigation, while the alleged scandal is yet to be brought before the floor of the House. A source close to the Ethics Committee hinted Vanguard that the committee, under the leadership of a pastor, Ossai Nicholas Ossai, had commenced secret investigation on the matter to establish the veracity or otherwise of the allegation. Although attempts made to confirm this had not yielded fruits as calls put across to Ossai, who represents Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituency of Delta State on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, did not go through. However, the source informed that going by the weighty nature of the allegation, the Ethics Committee should not wait for instruction or any formal letter from the Speaker to commence investigations.

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