The denial by Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, majority leader of the house of representatives, that he was never convicted of fraud in the United States appears to be untrue.
Sahara Reporters, report has shown Gbajabiamila, a lawyer, admitting withholding $25,000.
Money his client received as damage to personal injury claims.
The lawmaker was charged and was prosecuted in the Supreme Court of Georgia in February, 2007.
Gbajabiamila, the House of Representatives majority leader has been accused of been convicted in USA over a crime associated with fraud.
Defending the the lawmaker, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin leasder of his campaign organisation said at no time was Gbajabiamila convicted in the US over any crime.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, Jibrin said the lawmaker was not convicted in the US and was never accused of corruption in Nigeria
Action People Party has filed a suit asking the court to disqualify Gbajabiamila from contesting the Speaker of the House of Representatives position on the ground that he is a convict in the US.
The court has since asked the lawmaker to appear before it on a day before the speaker position contest.
In the suit before the court, the party say the lawmaker cannot contest for the position of speaker accusing him of been convicted over $25,000 fraud case by the US court.
Jibrin say the accusations against the lawmaker as a lie put together by those who do not want Gbajabiamila to be the speaker of the House saying he was never convicted in Georgia, US.
“Femi Gbajabiamila has never been convicted for any crime in the US, Nigeria or anywhere,” he said.
“He has never been accused of corruption and has no corruption case. He never committed perjury in Nigeria or any country of the world.
“He has provided clarifications and set records straight. The allegations have been tested and struck out in court. It has been stated that he is a full member of the Bar of Georgia.”
Jibrin also showed to the press a letter he alleged confirming Gbajabiamila’s membership of the Bar of Georgia.
He also displayed a copy of the Nigerian court judgement striking out the case against the lawmaker.
“We further wish to state that Femi has not been served any court summons or notified by the clerk of the national assembly. The judiciary must not allow itself to be mixed in this … campaign of calumny,” he said.
To prove that Gbajabiamila was indeed convicted, Sahara Reporters has made public supreme court of Georgia judgement detailing Gbajabiamila’s case.
The judgement read: “This disciplinary matter is before the Court on the Respondent Femi Gbaja’s Petition for Voluntary Discipline which was filed under Bar Rule 4-227 (b) (2) before a formal complaint was issued.
In his petition, Gbaja admits violating Rule 1 .l 5 ( l) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct set forth in Bar Rule 4-102 (d).
Although a violation of this rule is punishable by disbarment. Gbaja requests the imposition of a 24-month suspension.
He agrees however to accept a suspension of up to 36 months.
The State Bar has no objection to the acceptance of Gbaja’s petition so long as the suspension is no less than 36 months in duration.
“Gbaja, who has only been a member of the Bar since 2001 admits that he accepted payment of $25,000 as settlement of a client’s personal injury claims, deposited those funds in his attorney trust account in January 2003, failed to promptly disburse those funds to his client.
Withdrew those funds for his own use, closed his practice and moved out of the country.
Although Gbaja ultimately paid the $25,000 to his client in 2006, he admits his conduct violated Rule HS (1) and that. as a result, he is subject to disbarment.
In mitigation of his actions, Gbaja asserts that he has cooperated fully with disciplinary authorities, repaid his client, and is extremely remorseful for the consequences of his conduct.
Under these circumstances, we conclude that a 36-month suspension is an appropriate sanction.
Accordingly, Gbaja hereby is suspended for a period of 36 months. He is reminded of his duties under Bar Rule 4-219(c).”
Check on Gbajabiamila’s profile on the website of the State Bar of Georgia shows he is under “administrative suspension (licence fees). It stated this to mean: “member who has not paid license fees for a period of no less than one or greater than five consecutive bar years; not eligible to practice law in Georgia, but eligible for reinstatement by specific steps mandated in bar rules, but will not be required to take bar exam to reinstate.”