- Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila is currently fighting what s perhaps his biggest political battle
- The majority leader of the House of Representatives is enmeshed in controversy over his conduct as a professional in the U.S
- A group of lawyers are insisting that Gbajabiamila's bid to be Nigeria's next Speaker wuld be a moral burden on the country
A group, Coalition of Public Interest Lawyers and Advocates (COPA) has stated that Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila lacks the moral mettle to lead the 9th House of Representatives.
The group made its stance known via a press statement sent to journalists on Thursday, June 6 in reaction to a press conference by Gbajabiamila's campaign team on Wednesday, June 5 in Abuja.
Gbajabiamila, the current majority leader of the House of Representatives, has been recently accused of prior conviction, dishonesty, identity theft, different birth dates, and most recently, perjury.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmaker from Lagos state, is the adopted candidate of the ruling party for the post of Speaker in the incoming 9th National Assembly.
Gbajabiamila's campaign team had addressed the allegations against him and described them as false.
COPA's convener, Pelumi Olajengbesi Esq, however described Gbajabimila's defence as “spitting in the face of Nigerians.”
His words: “What is at stake here is not a search for an APC speaker, but one for the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This presupposes, therefore, that the consequences of a wrong selection will hurt and haunt not only lawmakers but Nigeria, and Nigerians.
“The hallowed institution of the House of Representatives is bigger than any one individual's interest, and as such issues concerning it cannot be treated in an offish manner.
“Indeed, what is at stake here is the personal integrity questions hovering over an individual, and instead of brutally confronting same, he elects to send his campaign head to attempt to pull wools over the eyes of Nigerians.
“Besides being ethically challenged himself, as the discredited former chairman of the House of Representatives committee on appropriation at the center of the budget padding saga, as well as a frequent guest of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Hon. Abdulmumuni Jibrin does not have the nexus to speak on the issues.
“Was he speaking as Gbajabiamila's attorney, an accomplice, or merely as a colleague and friend?
“Under whatever guise he may have been deployed, Jibrin cannot in good conscience deny infractions he was not privy to at the time they were committed.”
The group also queried why Hon.Gbajabiamila has refused to address the issues himself.
“By taking this stance, the Gbajabiamila group has not only left the nagging issues unanswered; they, in fact, only succeeded in further casting a huge question mark on the integrity of the fellow they want to foist as the No.4 citizen of Nigeria.
“As a coalition of public spirited officers in the temple of justice, we insist that nobody should be allowed to put his personal integrity at stake, least of all the image of Nigeria and Nigerians for a man who has falsified his age, his name and adopted the social security number of a dead American, in addition to other weighty allegations.
“We make bold to state that it is crystal clear that Femi Gbajabiamila lacks the moral mettle and sincerity to lead the House of Representatives as its Speaker as the context of the press conference failed to address the substantive issue against him and, rather than express remorse, countered with baseless threats against the Nigerian people,” it said.
The group further said it is in possession of all documents and evidences that establishes a clear case of fraudulent dishonesty and abuse of trust against Gbajabiamila.
“The facts against Gbajiamila are, in fact, readily available to the public as they were established in a Court of Record with same being accessible to the public, and are attached herein for the avoidance of doubt.
“We have established correspondence with the Supreme Court of Georgia and we have documents of Disciplinary Case No. S06Y0829 and the family of the victim of Gbajiamila’s fraud, Hadyatou Barry and also Vesta with P. O. Box 23410 Nashville TN, 31202, the insurance company that paid the claim misappropriated by Femi Gbajabiamila.
“The entire defense raised in Femi Gbajabiamila’s behalf in said press statement relied on a book whose thorough, unbiased reading ironically actually proves his guilt as the book acknowledges ALL the material facts establishing his guilt in fraudulently appropriating to himself money meant for the victim of a car accident. No amount of half-truths and misdirection can acquit him of guilt thence,” the group said.
COPA opined that a Gbajabiamila-led House of Representatives would be a moral burden on Nigeria and ridicule the National Assembly before the international community, even as it called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene.
“There is no doubt, with available facts and record, that the case of perjury against Gbajiamila would succeed except the parties withdraw the suit.
“We, therefore, call on President Muhammadu Buhari to live up to his reckoning as an anti corruption czar, by causing the nation's security agencies to undertake an in-depth investigations into the Hon.Femi Gbajabiamila saga, so as to prevent the country from willfully embracing a reputation crisis even before the 9th National Assembly takes off.
“For us, we shall keep our eyes on the ball, until such a time when the will of the people, rather than the craving of a political godfather, is done,” the statement concluded.
Meanwhile, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) on Tuesday, June 4, condemned alleged plots to impose some persons as leaders in both chambers of the incoming 9th National Assembly.
The spokesman for the coalition, Ikenga Ugochinyere, disclosed the position of the group while briefing journalists in Abuja.
Ugochinyere also expressed support for the use of secret ballot for the election of the officers, adding that the voting method is the only way to stop desperate godfathers from foisting their stooges on the legislature.
The coalition also condemned moves to produce leaders from particular sections of the country, to the detriment of other sections, warning that the development portends danger to national unity and integration.
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