- One of three Nigerian lawmakers caught-up in a US sex-scandal has spoken on the issue
- The lawmaker, Samuel Ikon said his position in church would not let him get involved in such amoral act
- Ikon further said that he also does not have the physical strength to go on some romp
- He also noted that as of the time when the acts were allegedly carried out, he was not feeling too well
The Nigerian lawmaker wrote to the US's ambassador in Nigeria regarding the allegations against him.
Ikon whose visa has since been revoked by the US, said apart from being an elder in the church for over a decade, he does not have the physical strength for such act.
James F Entwistle, the US ambassador to Nigeria, had written to Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, alleging that Ikon (Akwa Ibom), Mohammed Gololo (Bauchi) and Mark Gbillah (Benue) sought illicit sex while attending the Leadership Visitor Program in the US in April.
He said Gololo grabbed a housekeeper in his hotel room and solicited for sex, while the others asked a park attendant to help procure the services of prostitutes.
But Ikon, who represents the Etinan/Nsit Ibom/Nsit Ubium constituency, said he almost did not make it to the US because he had malaria and typhoid.
Ikon promised to make the evidence available, and also wondered why the US government did not give him fair hearing before concluding that he was involved in the alleged scandal.
His letter as obtained by Daily Post reads in full.
"James F. Entwistle
Ambassador of United State of America
It is with a deep sense of sadness and great hurt that I write to respond to a letter dated June 9, 2016 addressed to the Rt. Hon. Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria, copied to me and signed by you, alleging that I, Hon. Samuel Ikon, with Hon. Mark Gbillah requested hotel parking attendants assist us solicit prostitutes.
Let me state unequivocally sir that this allegation is not just false, but in bad taste. I Hon. Samuel Ikon never on that trip, nor on any trip to the US or anywhere in this world, ever sought to consort with prostitutes. This act would not only be inimical to my health, but totally unacceptable to my faith.
May I draw your attention Mr. Ambassador to the fact that I almost did not make that trip due to my state of health, a situation that was well known to your mission accompanying staff Mrs. Victoria Ibi. Even at the airport before our departure, I still was not sure but travelled due to the deep respect and appreciation I had at the time for the US government nominating me for the program on one hand, and the fact that I carried necessary medication for the Malaria and Typhoid that I was diagnosed of.
Mr. Ambassador, I was miserable throughout our stay in Washington DC and only got a bit stable in Cleveland when the medication began to kick in. Secondly, I was at the same time on medication to reduce my PSA level which tests in February this year had indicated a disturbing increase thus the issue of sex was totally ruled out for me in view of my health (laboratory results available if needed). I therefore find it funny and unacceptable to be so linked as in your letter.
I have another proof of my innocence which wiII completely tear down this false conclusion but will leave it out for a later time should you fail to redeem my integrity and I am forced to take legal action.
I wish to categorically state that at no time did I either alone, or in the company of Hon. Mark Gbillah a gentlemen with impeccable moral standing, approach any parking lot staff or any hotel staff for that matter to assist me solicit for prostitutes. It never happened nor was ever intended or thought of.
I have been in the legislature in the past nine (9) years and has attended over 30 conferences, seminars and meetings in about 20 countries globally and has never sought for a prostitute in any of these countries including the USA. I was in New York for a UN hearing on Narcotics in February for 4 days and never sought for a prostitute. My impeccable record of accomplishment is there to be seen. I have done programs in Harvard and Stanford Universities in the US and completed them successful without an incident or request for prostitutes.
I am an Elder in my Church since 2006 and clearly knows the tenets and doctrines of my faith one of which abhors such desires for prostitutes as such very offensive to be so linked.
His Excellency sir, let me inform you that I am happily married to a woman who is a mother, friend and confidant to me for twenty (20) years now and I have no reason to seek comfort in the bosom of a prostitute with all the attendant health risks especially the latest known as Zika Virus which has entered the USA.
Mr Ambassador, I therefore find this false allegation condemnable, repugnant and totally unacceptable to me.
Most distressing is the statement in your letter that your mission took pains to confirm this allegation and my identity. How sad. How can you confirm it to be my identity when I never had such an encounter with any hotel staff.
Moreover, how did you come to such conclusion without any fair hearing as you never sought my own view or account. Not driving a car myself, what would I be doing at the parking lot area, to then meet a staff there for such discussions?
May I draw your Excellency’s attention to how he would feel or react if after a meeting, say in the state department in Washington DC, he returns to Abuja only to receive a letter two months later that he sought to consort with prostitutes whilst in DC, an allegation His
Excellency knows is false because he never did such . That’s exactly how I feel now.
(I) I never sought anyone’s help to get prostitutes.
(2) I never had need for prostitutes.
(3) My health situation especially at the time could not have allowed such desires.
(4) My faith abhors such desires.
(5) I have never desired a prostitute .
I wish to draw your attention to the fact that it was myself and Hon. Mark Gbillah that sought to travel with our wives but your mission advised against it yet my reason for wanting to travel with my wife was because of my health condition at the time of the trip.
His Excellency sir, kindly note that I attended every session of the program from day 1 to the last, missing only a lunch date due to my medication time.
Worthy to note is the fact that there was a basketball match that period and the hotel had a lot of guests as such this may be a case of mistaken identity. I couldn’t even attend the game due to my state of health as my body couldn’t stand the chill weather for long.
I therefore urge that you review this case within 7 days taking a more detailed look at the evidences available for such like video recordings especially audio showing time and date of such discussions. So you can realize that a mistake has been made here and my integrity restored, else I will be seeking legal redress in competent courts of law both in Nigeria and in the US.
I am olive and not dead. I am sane and capable of knowing what I did, said and who I met. As such cannot accept this false allegation by your mission on my person and reputation built over the years.
Mr. Ambassador sir, United States is held in high esteem for its providing platforms for liberties and the rule of law. It’s my hope that these beliefs will not fade in my sight due to this great injustice.
On the issue of revocation of Visas, I wish to state that until my name is cleared and apologies tendered , I have no intention to visit a country where I can be so easily accused and adjudged so, without any fair hearing as such you need not worry.
Your Excellency, I am confident that you will take steps to address my response to your letter as it will be most unfair to taint my reputation, carrier and psych by o false and untrue allegation.
It is sad that this false allegation has gone to the press and now in the public domain further tarnishing my image and reputation. I hope you will address this aspect properly when the issue is fully resolved.
While awaiting your action in this regard, be assured of my highest regards.
Rt. Hon. Samuel Ikon"
On Tuesday, June 21, the three members of the House of Representatives accused of sexual misconduct, requested from the leadership of the lower chambers to call for a public investigative hearing on the allegations against them.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara, who was at the green chambers when the case was brought forward, directed the Committees on Ethics and Privileges and Foreign Affairs to carry out investigations on the alleged sex scandal.
One of the accused lawmaker, Mark Gbillah, who represents his constituency in Benue state stated: “For my colleagues who don’t know me and Nigerians out there, I want to categorically state here, for any avoidance of doubt, that no such incident occurred.
“I want my colleagues and the nation to understand that though we are in the eye of the storm, we will bear this cross and courageously too.
“I want to say that this is calculated to tarnish the image of the three members and this very hallowed institution. And I caution Nigerians who are quick to conclusion, I want to state categorically for all Nigerians to know again, that I love my wife without reservation.
“I only have eyes for my wife. I have never cheated on her. I wish she was able to come to this hallowed chambers to testify to this. I went on this trip with my wife and my baby. I travel everywhere I go with my wife and baby.”
“We are in the eye of the storm, we demand justice should be done,” Gbillah in a touching voice added to his earlier comment.