Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A suit challenging the eligibility of lawmaker Femi Gbajabiamila to contest for the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 9th National Assembly pending before the Abuja division of the Federal High Court has been withdrawn.
In a letter titled ‘Authorisation to file my withdrawal from suit Number: FHC/ABJ/CS/539/2019’, the plaintiff, Mr Philip Undie, said he discontinued the suit following fresh facts indicating that Gbajabiamila has no criminal record in the United States.
Read also: 9th NASS leadership: Abia APC reiterates support for Kalu, Onyejeocha, denies endorsing Gbajabiamila
The letter dated May 27, 2019, and signed by Undie read:
”It is important I honourably discontinue the suit following the emergence of more facts indicating that the first defendant in the suit, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, was cleared of no criminal conviction in the State of Georgia or any other part of the United States of America in a letter dated August 30, 2010.
“I am also in possession of an order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, dated May 22, 2018, delivered by Justice Abdu-Kafarati in favour of Femi Gbajabiamila.”
The plaintiff had in a suit he filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja challenged the eligibility of Gbajabiamila to contest for House Speakership in the upcoming 9th National Assembly.
Gbajabiamila is one of the leading candidates for that position since the results of the last general elections were released.
In the suit, other defendants besides Gbajabiamila are the House of Representatives, Attorney General of the Federation and political party All Progressives Congress (APC).
Undie had accused Gbajabiamila of having been convicted in the US state of Georgia on February 26, 2007.
Apart from the letter of withdrawal, the plaintiff said the suit was filed in his innocent belief that Gbajabiamila ought not be allowed to contest for the position of House House Speaker based on the initial information at his disposal.
“Tthe suit was filed in my innocent belief that the first defendant, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila ought not to be allowed to contest for the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives based on information then at my disposal that he had been criminally convicted by the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia, United States of America.
”Since the matter was filed at the Federal High Court, I have come into possession of more facts on the alleged criminal conviction which show beyond all doubt that the basis of the suit is found on misinformation and misrepresentation of facts.
”One of the documents I now have is a letter dated as far back as August 30th, 2010, issued by the State Bar of Georgia, the body involved in this matter and which regulate legal practice in Georgia, United States of America, indicating that the first defendant, Femi Gbajabiamila, has no record of criminal conviction in the State of Georgia or any part of America. In fact, the letter states categorically that Femi Gbajabiamila ”is currently an active member in good standing of the State Bar of Georgia,” the statement read.