Nigerian lawmakers should sue the Americans if they are bold enough

Nigerian lawmakers should sue the Americans if they are bold enough
June 17
07:56 2016

Last week, the U.S. ambassador to Nigeria accused three Nigerian lawmakers of bad behaviour. In a strongly worded letter, James Entwistle accused Samuel Ikon (PDP, Akwa Ibom), Mohammed Gololo (APC, Bauchi) and Mark Gbillah (APC, Benue) of various sexual misconducts, while they visited the U.S. state of Ohio as participants for the International Visitor Leadership Programme.

The ambassador made these allegations on behalf of the hotel the lawmakers were lodged in Cleveland. For Gololo, the ambassador accused him of grabbing a housekeeper in his hotel room and soliciting for sex, while Ikon and Gbillah were accused of soliciting the assistance of a hotel park attendant to help get prostitutes.

Ordinarily, this wouldn’t have made headlines in any of Nigeria’s gossip magazines. But, the Americans are taking these accusations very seriously – actually all civilized countries do – they have even said it might affect the future of the well-intentioned leadership programme, the accused lawmakers attended, which is designed to benefit Nigerians.

The ambassador did not mince words in describing how these allegations have cast Nigeria and its Parliament in a bad light. And this is where it affects every Nigerian.


All three Parliamentarians have denied these allegations. Honorable Gbillah has threatened to demand compensation for such defamation of character, while Gololo has demanded for evidence from the Americans to substantiate their claim.

This is where it gets interesting. I have no doubt in my mind that the Americans knew the implications of the allegations they made. The U.S. Missions abroad have strong legal teams which peruse such letters before it is sent out. They know the implications of law suits – mainly those involving a deformation of character.

Part of the ambassador’s letter read: ‘’The U.S. Mission took pains to confirm these allegations and the identities of the individuals with the employees of the hotel in Cleveland’’.


From the tone of James Entwistle’s letter, I doubt if the Americans are going to press any charges. The letter looked more like a warning.

But, one of the accused lawmakers says he is a family man and such allegation could cause an irreparable damage to his family. This is true, but will he be courageous enough to sue. I doubt.

Some lawmakers believe that this was a calculated attempt to rubbish the National Assembly. Wow! This is enough reason for the whole Parliament to instigate a class action, but they might not.

If the accused lawmakers sue, they might become billionaires if they win. And you can only sue if you are sure you are innocent because you might never know if the Americans have other electronic evidence. You never know. Little wonder, one accused lawmaker demanded for a video evidence. You need not demand for such evidence, all you need to do is to sue.


One lawmaker queried if the Americans could treat their congressmen the way they were treating these accused Nigerian lawmakers. The answer is a simple YES. They even treated Dominque Straus Khan, a former IMF boss, like that. So, that question is immaterial at this moment.

The Americans have even attempted to impeach a former President because of these kind of allegations. Of course, such allegations, or even act, will never lead to a big man’s impeachment in Nigeria – this is why some people believe Nigeria is still the best place to live – you can get away with murder in Nigeria.

If it turns out that these allegations are false, it might have resulted in a stigma that cannot be removed. This is why I employ the whole National Assembly to sue, if they are bold enough.

Of course, if the accused lawmakers decide to allow these accusations die a natural death in Nigeria, it might not in America. They might be denied entry into America in future (some reports say their visas have been cancelled) or be asked to answer to charges anytime they enter America. Since America is not like Nigeria, I urge the lawmakers to sue and make sure this is ironed out. It will be a shame if they decide to play the ostrich- sometimes Nigerian politicians threaten to sue, but don’t


Some Nigerians have been accused of this kind of offence in the U.S. A recent example is Timaya’s story. Timaya, one of Nigerian’s musical sensation, denied that he raped the lady, who accused him of rape, arguing that they were both consenting adults.

Well, I understand some of these accusations could be settled amicably. I suspect Timaya has followed that route. For our lawmakers, I only pray and hope their case is that of ‘mistaken identities’. These allegations are really damaging to the country and to the individuals involved.


There are many lessons to be learnt here, but the most important one is this: if you are a public officer, representing Nigeria abroad, you should know that it is not everything you do in Nigeria that you can do abroad. Though you might argue that some people in your host country get away with these things, you might not know how they do them and get away because you are just ‘’a new kid on the block’’.



  1. Tunde D
    Tunde D June 17, 12:30

    Very nice write up, view and advice. Every public office holder should know that they have to behave wherever they find themselves especially abroad. I dare these people to sue if the allegations are baseless and if they don’t then silence means guilty as accused.

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  2. Riot50000
    Riot50000 June 17, 16:44


    We are not Nigerians, and we have nothing in common with other Ethnic groups in Nigeria except Skin Melanin content.
    Nigeria is an Eye Sore to Black Man everywhere.
    Let Biafrans go.

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