House of Representatives, Speaker Yakubu Dogara has said that his colleagues remain innocent until proven guilty over allegation of rape .
He said neither his office nor the 360-member legislature would rush to pass judgement on its Deputy Chairman, Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Mr. Mark Gbillah ( APC, Benue); Mr. Samuel Ikon (PDP, Akwa Ibom); and Mr. Mohammed Garba-Gololo (APC, Bauchi), who are the accused lawmakers.
Dogara in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Turaki Hassan, in Abuja on Saturday, also advised Nigerians to borrow a leaf from him by not condemning the three embattled members until the outcome of an investigation by the House.
“Judgement can only be passed when an allegation is proven,” Dogara maintained.
According to the speaker, he still believes that the three lawmakers would have known the implications of bringing “dishonour” to Nigeria by committing any of the alleged acts.
The speaker expressed the readiness of the House to work with the US Embassy in Nigeria to unravel the truth and punish offenders when proven guilty, but maintained that until the investigation proved their guilt, the three members were free and innocent citizens.
In a related development, in a series of tweets on Saturday, the Speaker staunchly rose to the defence of the lawmakers saying that the US should provide proof of the allegations of sexual misconduct against the House members.
When asked by a Twitter user, Poju, @pojugreat, who should provide evidence of sexual misconduct against the lawmaker, Dogara tweeted, “He who alleges must prove. That’s the law.
“As we speak, no evidence has been put forward other than the letter sent to my office and copied to many others.”