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 State of America Supreme Court for alleged to fraud.
The court was specifically asked not to allow the lawmaker to stand for the Speakership election , having been convicted for fraud to the of $25,000 in which he allegedly failed to disburse to his then client in 2003 in US,where he was practicing as a lawyer.
The plaintiff in the matter, Philip Undie joined alongside Gbajabiamila, House of Representatives, Attorney General of the Federation and the All Progressive 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 1999 Constitution as emended, the plaintiff wants the court to determine whether upon the construction of S 66 of the 1999 Constitution and the judgement of the Supreme Court 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 the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
He is also praying the court for an order of injunction stopping Gbajabiamila from parading himself as a member of the House if Representatives and also an aspirant for the office of the Speaker of the House.
Similarly , Undie who claimed to be a tax payer in Nigeria , is further seeking for another order of injunction restraining the House of Representatives , AGF and APC from recognising Gbajabiamila as a 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.
In a 25 paragraph affidavit in support of the Originating Summons and deposed to Plaintiff himself averred that few days ago, information came to the public domain that Gbajabiamila is contesting and indeed a leading candidate to the Office of Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 9th National Assembly , having been endorsed by the NWC of APC.
He further averred that upon the information , he deemed it proper to carry out a background check on the leading candidates for the position if Speaker of the House and that in the process , he discovered that Gbajabiamila is a lawyer and had practiced in the USA ,particularly , in the state of Georgia.
The affidavit further 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, 000 belonging to a then client of the first defendant for 36 months .
“A certified true copy of the judgement of Supreme Court of Georgia to that effect issued by Theresa Tee Barnes , Clerk of the said Supreme Court of Georgia, on 12th day if June , 2015 is hereby attached and marked exhibit A
“That the judgement was delivered by the full panel of the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia, comprising of the Chief Justice of the State of Georgia, Honorable Justice Hugh P. Thompson, Hon. Justice P. Harris Hines, Hon Justice Robert Benham, Hon. Justice Carol W Hunstein, Hon. Justice Harold D. Melton, Hon. Justice David E. Nahmias and Hon. Justice Keith R. Blackwell, on 26th day of February , 2007 .
“That it was stated judgement in the said judgement that the first defendant admits violating Rule 1.15(1) of Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct set forth in Bar Rule 4-102 (d) is pleaded.
“That the first defendant 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 ,000 and that he also admitted that he accepted payment of $25,000 as settlement of a client personal injury cliams , deposited in his Attorney Trust Account in January , 2003 but failed to disburse same to the client”.
The plaintiff therefore, prayed the court to declare that Gbajabiamila is not a fir and proper person to be elected as a member of the House of Representatives and as Speaker of the house.