A group, Registered Trustees of Social Justice and Civil Rights Awareness Initiative, has approached a Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to disqualify Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila from emerging as the Speaker of the House of Representatives on Tuesday saying that he is not morally fit to head the third arm of governance in Nigeria.
They alleged that Gbajabiamila was previously ”convicted in the state of Georgia for unethical practices and was debarred as a lawyer for 36 months”.
Justice Abdul Kafarati is presiding over the suit which was lodged before the high court by the group.
The ex-parte motion is being argued on behalf of the group by Human Rights lawyer, Chief Mike Ozehkome, SAN.
In a supporting affidavit that was deposed to by one Alojie Nmerengira, the plaintiff told the court that its investigations revealed that Gbajabiamila was convicted by the Supreme Court of Georgia in 2007, even as it attached a copy of the order of the court as ‘Exhibit A’.
Nmerengira averred: “That I am the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the plaintiff organization by virtue of which I am very conversant with the facts deposed herein.
“That the 1st defendant is a member of the House of Representatives who nurses the ambition of becoming the Speaker of the House in the next Assembly. That the 2nd defendant is the constitution body created to carry out legislative functions for the good governance and advancement of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“That the 3rd defendant is the Chief Law Officer of the Federation that ensures the sue enforcement of our Laws so that the nation does not fall into the pit of lawlessness.
“That as a sensible and responsible organisation, my board deemed it proper that to achieve the objective of the organisation, that we should intervene in public interest litigation in deserving situations.
“That few days ago it came to the public domain that the 1st defendant was a leading candidate to the position of the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“That my organisation, following the wind of change that has pervaded the political environment in Nigeria, deemed it proper to carry out a background check on the leading candidates for the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“That I discovered that the 1st defendant was a lawyer and practiced in the United States of America, particularly in the state of Georgia.
“That upon further enquiry, I discovered that the 1st defendant was convicted in the state of Georgia for unethical practices and was debarred for 36 months. A copy of the order of the Supreme Court of Georgia to that effect is hereby attached and marked ‘Exhibit A’”.