The chances of Femi Gbajabiamila oemerging as the next speaker of the House of Representatives now hangs by a thread as an Abuja High court has summoned him, over a suit filed against him by the Action Peoples Party (APP).
The APP had asked the court to disqualify Gbajabiamila from the speakership race over alleged perjury.
The party led by Ikenga Ugochinyere, who is doubles as the spokesman of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), had said Gbajabiamila committed perjury in the CF001 form he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019.
The lawmaker who represents Surulere 1 Federal Constituency from Lagos, was first elected into the lower legislative chamber of the national assembly in 2003.
APP said while Gbajabiamila, a lawyer, was convicted by the supreme court of Georgia, US, and sentenced to 36 months disbarment for fraud, he lied to INEC that he had never been convicted for any crime.
The lawmaker was said to have duped Barry Hadyatu, one of his clients, by receiving her insurance claims without her authority.
Although he reportedly repaid the money to his client, Gbajabiamila was said to have later closed down his law office in America and returned to Nigeria.
Gbajabiamila and Ahmad Lawan, senate leader, are the choices of President Muhammadu Buhari for the speaker of house of reps and senate president.
Last week, Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, said Buhari told him that Gbajabiamila is his choice for the leadership of the 9th assembly.
But in a statement, Ugochinyere wondered why the APC would settle for Gbajabiamila, asking lawmakers to reject him.
“This is the man President Muhammadu Buhari led APC wants to emerge as the speaker of the house of representatives,” the statement read.
“Is President Buhari now saying that the admission of guilt of involvement in the shameful act of willful dishonesty and acceptance of lesser punishment because he has repaid the money has wiped the record of the evil deed? Is the President Muhammadu Buhari led APC now saying that if all the looters of our treasury admit that they looted that we should forgive them as though they never looted and make them Speakers and Senate Presidents at different levels? Is this the era where we shall now reward crimes just because the criminal admitted and negotiated a lesser punishment? President Buhari led APC has a lot of questions to answer to Nigerians why this man called Gbaja is his choice.”
“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.”