Alleged U.S. Conviction: Court rules in favour of Gbajabiamila

Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila. [Photo credit: Concise News]
Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila. [Photo credit: Concise News]

A Federal Capital Territory High Court has faulted the decision of a political party to challenge the emergence of Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The court in a ruling on Friday said the applicants acted recklessly by approaching an area court to determine their application, as the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

The court also ruled that the documents before it were sufficient to agree with the submissions of Mr Gbajabiamila that he was never convicted as suggested by the applicants.

Explaining the proceedings that resulted in the ruling on Wednesday, Mr Gbajabiamila’s lawyer, Olowole Adaja, said they reacted to the application at the area court by approaching the FCT High Court with a request that it judicially reviews the decision of the area court to entertain the application.

He said that the applicants relied on what they believed to be a decision of the Supreme Court in Georgia, which had punished Mr Gbajabiamila after a disciplinary panel heard a case of professional misconduct against him.

Mr Adaja further explained that, according to the applicants, the decision of the supreme court of Georgia amounted to a conviction, hence Mr Gbajabiamila ought not to have denied being convicted when he responded to form CF001, ahead of the general elections.

“We, therefore, set the record straight by stating that what had happened in Georgia, United States was not a trial. There was neither an arraignment nor a conviction. And the basis upon which they brought their application is that he had been convicted.

“The court ruled that based on the facts before it, there were no sufficient reasons to submit that Hon. Gbajabiamila had been convicted by any court of law.”

Mr Adaja added that the court ruled in favour of their submissions that based on provisions of the Electoral Act, only a High Court, like the instant one, could entertain the nature of application brought by the applicants.

The judgement was delivered by Justice A. O Musa

A similar application is also pending at the Abuja division of the Federal High Court.

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