A federal high court sitting in Abuja on Monday 8th has disqualified a bid stop former minority leader in the 7th assembly and member-elect of the house, Femi Gbajabiamila from contesting for the position of speaker of the house.
The APC on Saturday nominated the Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as its sole candidate for the position of speaker of the house.
A group, Social Justice and Civil Rights Awareness Initiative, had, on June 4, 2015, filed an ex parte application asking the court to restrain the House of Representatives from accepting Gbajabiamila’s nomination as an aspirant for the speakership position.
The plaintiff filed a suit seeking an injunction restraining the respondent, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila for the role. The suit was anchored on allegation of conviction OF the respondent in the US for unethical practices in the course of his practice as a lawyer.
The plaintiff also accused Gbajabiamila of possessing United State of America’s passport even as a Nigerian descent. The plaintiff alleged this contravened “our Constitution as regards membership of the House of Representatives.
But Justice Abdukadir Abdu-Kafarati, on Monday, rejected the plaintiff’s ex parte application seeking to disqualify Gbajabiamila to contest for the office of the Speaker.
The judge, who heard the plaintiff’s lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), inside his chamber, however, ordered the respondents to appear in court on June 18 to show cause why the prayer sought by the plaintiff in the ex parte application should not be granted.
It was learnt that the judge ordered that the processes filed in the suit be served on all the respondents in the suit.
Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Social Justice and Civil Rights Awareness Initiatives, Alozie Nmeregwa, stated in the affidavit filed in support of the ex parte application, that Gbajabiamila’s character had been tainted and thus not qualify to hold the office of the Speaker.
The affidavit read in part, “That few days ago, it came to public knowledge that the 1st defendant was a leading candidate to the position of the 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 practised 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 disbarred for 36 months.
“That I also discovered that the 1st defendant has United States international passport even though he has Nigerian decent which contravened our Constitution as regards membership of the House of Representatives.
“That the mood of the nation today will not warrant placing the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the hands of any individual that has tainted or questionable character.”
In the motion on notice, the plaintiff urged the court to determine “whether, upon the construction of Section 66 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the 1st defendant is a fit and proper person to be elected to the House of Representatives and/or the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.”
It consequently argued that the 1st defendant is not a fit and proper person to be elected as a member of the House of Representatives and/or as the Speaker of the House of Representatives