According to reports from Legit.ng, the majority leader of the House of Representatives in the outgoing 8th National Assembly Femi Gbajabiamila, who is also eying the speakership position in the 9th National Assembly, has been summoned to appear before a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) court.
The Cable reports that the court had summoned Gbajabiamila after a lawsuit was filed against him by the Action Peoples Party (APP) seeking to disqualify him from the speakership race over allegations of perjury.
The party alleged that Gbajabiamila committed perjury in the CF001 form he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019. APP claimed Gbajabiamila lied to INEC that he had never been convicted by a court of law when, as a lawyer, he was reportedly convicted by the supreme court of Georgia, US, and sentenced to 36 months disbarment for fraud.
Gbajabiamila was said to have closed down his law office in America and returned to Nigeria shortly after the court verdict.
“We call on all members-elect of the house of representatives to stand up to be counted as their first official duty will be to ensure that a person who the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia has convicted for the offence of willful dishonesty and who lied under oath in his INEC Form CF001 is not elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives,” APP’s Ikenga Ugochinyere said in a statement.
Gbajabiamila has yet to react to the allegations as at press time. This suit came days after it was earlier reported that Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state had on Friday, May 31, revealed who actually chose the House leader, Femi Gbajabiamila for the speaker of 9th House of Assembly.
El-Rufai had stated that contrary to popular opinion, it was President Muhammadu Buhari who had made the choice, and not the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Recall that Sahara Reporters had earlier reported that the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), has rejected Femi Gbajabiamila as the next speaker of the House of Representative over alleged conviction by a United States court in Georgia.
Imo Ugochinyere, the spokesman of CUPP, along with 12 other national chairmen of political parties made this position known on Tuesday 4th of June, 2019, as they addressed journalists in Abuja.
Ugochinyere asserted that the federal lawmaker is not competent to be the speaker of the House of Representatives because he had earlier been convicted of “willful dishonesty” by the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia in the United States.
Although he said the CUPP was not interested in who the lawmakers decide to lead them, Ugochinyere pointed out that Gbajabiamila’s choice was “morally, politically and constitutionally wrong.”
He said the CUPP, through the Action Peoples Party, had commenced criminal proceedings against the lawmaker before Grade 1 Area Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting in Karshi.
He explained that the case was instituted because Gbajabiamila had at different times given false information on oath to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) when he claimed in the commission’s Form CF001 that he had never been indicted by a tribunal, court or administrative panel of fraud or dishonesty.
He said, “A court in the FCT has issued criminal summons on Femi Gbajabiamila to appear in person on June 10 and the court also granted an exparte application to serve him by substituted means through the clerk of the national assembly.”
Ugochinyere also said the CUPP backed the use of secret ballot system to elect the leadership of the Ninth National Assembly.
He said the secret ballot was the only way to allow lawmakers vote for their leaders according to their conscience.
When contacted on the telephone for his reaction, Gbajabiamila’s spokesman, Olanrewaju Smart, said the majority leader’s camp would react on Wednesday (today).
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had named Gbajabiamila its preferred candidate for the position.
But the spokesman for the CUPP, told journalists in Abuja that Gbajabiamila’s choice was contrary to the present administration’s acclaimed anti-corruption war.
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