Court asked to bar Gbajabiamila from contesting Speakership

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Court asked to bar Gbajabiamila from contesting Speakership

…over alleged conviction by U.S. Court

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja was yesterday asked to bar a leading contender to the Speakership of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila from contesting the position on the ground of his conviction by a United States of America Supreme Court for alleged fraud. The court was specifically asked not to allow the lawmaker to stand for the Speakership election, having been convicted for fraudof $25,000inwhichhe allegedly failed to disburse to his then client in 2003 in theU.S., wherehewaspracticing as a lawyer. The plaintiff in the matter, Philip Undie, joined alongside Gbajabiamila, House of Representatives, Attorney General of the Federation and the All Progressives Congress (APC) as defendants in suit.

In an Originating Summons marked FHC/ ABJ/C/538/2019 brought pursuant to Order 3, Rule 6 and 7 of the Federal High Court and Section 66 of the 1999Constitutionasemended, the plaintiff wants the court to determine whether upon the construction of Section 66 of the 1999 Constitutionandthejudgementof theSupremeCourt of the State of Georgia, Atlanta, USA in Suit no. SO6YO829, IN THE MATTER OF FEMI GBAJA, is a fit and proper person to be elected to the House of Representatives and to the Office of the Speaker of the House. The plaintiff is, therefore, praying the court for an order of injunction restraining the House of Representatives and APC from accepting the nomination of Gbajabiamila as an aspirant for the office of theSpeakerof theHouseof Representatives. He is also praying the courtfor anorder of injunction stopping Gbajabiamila from parading himself as a member of the House of Representativesandalsoan aspirantfor theofficeof the Speaker of the House.

Similarly, Undie, who claimed to be a taxpayer in Nigeria, is further seeking foranotherorderof injunction restraining the House of Representatives, AGF and APC from recognising Gbajabiamila asa member of the House and as an aspirant to the Speakership of House of Representatives.

The suit, filed by Ayodele Justice on behalf of the plaintiff, is however yet to be assigned to any judge. The affidavit reads in part: “That upon further enquiry, I discovered that the first defendant was convicted and sentenced for fraud and dishonesty in relation to the sum of $25,000belongingtoaclient of the first defendant for 36 months. “Thatthefirstdefendant accepted the imposition of a sentence of suspension up to 36 months as a punishment for fraud and dishonest in relation to the said$25,000andthathealso admitted that he accepted paymentof $25,000 assettlement of a client’s personal injury claims, deposited in his Attorney Trust Account in January 2003, but failed to disburse same to the client.”

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