Ahead of today’s inauguration of the 8th National Assembly, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Monday rejected a suit for the disqualification of a lawmaker-elect Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, from contesting the position of the Speaker.
The court, however, ordered Mr. Gbajabiamila and all the respondents in the case to appear before it on June 18 to show why the prayer sought by the plaintiff in the ex parte application should not be granted.
The All Progressives Congress, which have the majority in the House, had after a mock election it organised on Saturday, nominated Gbajabiamila as its sole candidate for the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 8th Assembly
A group, Registered Trustees of Social Justice and Civil Rights Awareness Initiative. in the suit filed pursuant to Order 26 Rule 8 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules, 2009, is contending that Hon. Gbajabiamila is not morally fit to head the third arm of governance in Nigeria, alleging that he was previously ”convicted in the state of Georgia for unethical practices and was debarred as a lawyer for 36 months”.
Aside Gbajabiamila, the House of Representatives and the Attorney General of the Federation were equally cited as defendants in the matter.
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.
The inauguration and elections of principal officers of the Federal House of representatives is in progress at the time of filing this report with Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila contesting in the election.