The House was always going to clear its members of sex allegations, because politicians only look after themselves
In June, Entwistle wrote the House leadership, alleging that the Nigerian lawmakers had solicited for sex and prostitutes, while on an International Visitor Leadership Programme on good governance, in Cleveland, U.S.
Parts of Entwistle’s letter had read:
“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 House Joint Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Foreign Affairs, which has been looking into the allegations, on Tuesday, issued the following statement in clearing the lawmakers:
“That Hon. Mohammed Garba Gololo, Hon. Mark Terseer Gbillah and Hon. Samuel Ikon are cleared of and exonerated from the allegations levelled against them by the United States Ambassador to Nigeria in his June 9, 2016 letter to the Rt. Hon. Speaker, for want of evidence”.
Here are three lessons we just drew from the saga:
1. Groping has become a political malaise
According to Entwistle, “Mohammed Garba Gololo allegedly grabbed a housekeeper in his hotel room and solicited her for sex”.
‘Grab’ is the operative word here.
If that sounds like a word you’ve heard repeatedly in the last week, that’s because a certain Donald Trump now owns the patent.
The U.S presidential candidate has seen his poll numbers plummet for saying he loves ‘grabbing women by the pussy’.
The euphemism for all of that is a word called ‘Groping’ which means to “search for something by reaching or touching, usually with your fingers in a very awkward way”, according to the Merriam-Webster online Dictionary.
From Nigeria to the United States, politicians are finding it increasingly difficult to keep their fingers on their gadgets.
And that’s a worrying development.
2. House of Reps only looks after itself
If the lawmakers were really, really interested in finding out the truth in this case, a special prosecutor should have been hired.
Nah, that would have been too mainstream.
So, the House did what a Nigerian politician would do—become judge and jury in your own case.
It is little wonder that the three lawmakers emerged from this, smelling of roses. Any other outcome would have been hara-kiri.
They knew this.
Here’s the same House which just suspended a member who was going to pull the rug from under all of their feet, for alleged padding of the budget.
Typical? You bet!
3. The U.S Diplomat knew what the outcome will be
When the then U.S Ambassador to Nigeria was invited to appear before the House with evidence of the sexual assault, he shunned the invitation.
Entwistle must have known that a House sitting over its own trial will only produce a charade.
Entwistle was only interested in passing a message across to the randy Nigerian politician, it appears.
He had written: “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.”
We wonder if anyone at the National Assembly read that paragraph.