Gbajabiamila campaign group addressing journalists in Abuja
One of the major contenders in the speakership race for the 9th House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has denied the allegation that he was convicted by a court in the United States of America.
But the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) told SaharaReporters that it was not aware of any case against Gbajabiamila in the US or whether the lawmaker lied.
The Chief Press Secretary of INEC, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, said the commission was not aware of any evidence of Gbajabiamila's alleged conviction by a US court.
He said: "INEC is not aware of any evidence of Gbajabiamila’s alleged conviction in the US."
Meanwhile, Gbajabiamila has threatened to take legal action regarding the story.
The Director-General of Femi/Wase Campaign, Jibril Abdulmumin, disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja at press conference to respond to the alleged conviction of Gbajabiamila by a US court.
He said Gbajabiamila had never been accused of corruption and had no corruption case in Nigeria or anywhere in the world.
He added that he did not commit perjury in Nigeria or any other country.
He said: "For the benefit of doubt, we wish to once again state emphatically clear that Hon Femi Gbajabiamila has never been convicted for any crime in the United States of America, Nigeria or any other country around the world for that matter.
"He has never been accused of corruption and has no corruption case hanging on his neck in Nigeria or any where around the world. He has not committed perjury and has never committed perjury in Nigeria or any country of the world. He was eligible to contest in all previous elections he won and indeed eligible and qualified to contest for the office of Speaker House of Representatives in the 9th Assembly."
THE FULL TEXT OF THE SPEECH
" In the last few weeks, the media has been washed with once again what has become a reoccurring fabrication of false accusations and outright lies against the person of the Leader House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila.
" The latest was a live press conference addressed yesterday by someone claiming to be speaking on behalf of Coalition of United Political Party CUPP. But for the publicity the press conference attracted, we would have simply ignored the baseless and unfounded allegations.
For the benefit of doubt, we wish to once again state emphatically clear that Hon Femi Gbajabiamila has never been convicted for any crime in the United States of America, Nigeria or any other country around the world for that matter. He has never been accused of corruption and has no corruption case hanging on his neck in Nigeria or any where around the world. He has not committed Perjury and has never committed perjury in Nigeria or any country of the world. He was eligible to contest in all previous elections he won and indeed eligible and qualified to contest for the office of Speaker House of Representatives in the 9th Assembly.
Hon Femi has severally and comprehensively responded to these allegations, provided clarifications and set records straight. The allegations have also been tested and struck out in our court of law. The State Bar of Georgia has also written and categorically stated that “there is no criminal conviction in the matter relating to Hon Femi and he is currently an active member in good standing of the State Bar of Georgia” All these facts are in the public domain.
We further wish to state that Hon Femi has not been served any summons by a magistrate court neither has he been notified by the Clerk. We are worried that those behind this antics are trying to drag the Judiciary and our revered judges to what is clearly a hatched Job. The Judiciary must not allow itself to be mixed in such cocktail of dirts.
This campaign of calumny is orchestrated to poison the minds of our leaders against Hon Femi which has failed woefully. Now the agenda is to smear his reputation through “creation of illusion of truth”. An idea of repeated lying until people are forced to believe. We urge the general public to disregard the falsehoods being peddled around. It is also very strange that a private citizen or organization will be filing criminal charges against an individual. From our understanding of legal procedure that can only be done by the state. Hon Femi in his usual manner has maintained a dignified silence knowing truth to be a constant. However he has now instructed his lawyers to take every
necessary legal step against all those involved their 3 Parliamentary conspirators and sponsors to seek redress and sue for defamation with immediate effect. Indeed Femi on his own has put this matter out there in the public domain in the biography titled FEARLESS written by Wale Okediran a former colleague 6 years ago. Page 25 to be precised where he comprehensively addressed the matter. We remain focused and undeterred and prepared for what ever antics they may further unfold. What ever they choose to do and how ever, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila and Hon Ahmed Idris Wase will be on the floor on the 11th live and direct to be elected Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively to take over from Speaker Dogara who ceases to be Speaker from tomorrow Thursday 6th June 2019 after our valedictory session.
Hon Femi has had a successful private legal practice career both in Nigeria and abroad. He has had a distinguished career in the parliament being a 5 term Member and rising all the way in the legislature to minority leader and subsequently majority leader. A feet only him holds in the history of Nigeria parliament. He is a loyal Nigeria and party man. He is upright, honest, hard working, competent, level headed, team player and a uniting force. He demonstrated this clearly after losing the last election narrowly in 2015. He accepted defeat with grace and as always demonstrated absolute loyalty to Speaker Dogara and the institution of the house despite having the latitude to revolt and make the house ungovernable. He has worked tirelessly supporting his friends but some of them including me let him down in 2015. I have since repented and Iam also calling on all others to repent and seek forgiveness in their own interest. 2019 is not 2015, will not be 2015 and shall never be 2015. The two circumstances are different in so many ways. Femi will win. As the famous singer Shakira sang, This time is for Femi. And of course Wase !
Before any endorsement, Hon Femi was first our choice. We the members decided he is the Speaker we want. His candidature has received the largest number of endorsement across party lines by any Speakership Aspirant. He has been endorsed by his colleagues members elect, the president, party leaders, Governors and other stake holders across party lines. It is no wonder he remains the clear favourite to win the Speakership race.
Quite disturbing is the fact that the person who addressed the press conference yesterday in his usual pattern went beyond Hon Femi and attacked Mr. President, parties, governors and other leaders through spreading of outright falsehood and hate speeches capable of causing tension and security problem across the land. We have written petition to the Inspector General of Police and other security agencies to get to the bottom of this matter and take all necessary action against him and his sponsors who we have reliable information who they are.
Apparently the sponsors of this blackmail have by their words conceded victory to Femi. It is curious that they made so much emphasis on the need to keep our voting secret in an era when Nigerians are calling for transparency in our parliament. While noting that the National Assembly is not a secret cult, For us, secret or open ballot, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila will win. Yes, he will!
We wish to reinstate that Hon Femi will run an all inclusive house with all the parties carried along in running the affairs of the house, committees and other responsibilities. It is no surprise that we adopted the slogan “Nation Building - A Joint Task”. and rainbow coalition. So far we have secured endorsement of a part of the PDP caucus and other parties. We are also in talks with the other part of the PDP caucus and hopefully we will conclude today. We do this in firm belief on the need to bring everyone on board. However we had already secured the numbers to win the speakership race weeks ago. Our party the APC has clarified that we are free to negotiate with other parties.
We wish to thank Mr President for the trust and support and further assure him that we will not disappoint. Similarly we wish to thank our party the APC and other parties that endorsed the candidacy of Femi/Wase, Governors across party lines and most importantly hundreds of Members elect that have kept our campaign going and signed to vote for Hon Femi Gbajabiamila for speaker and Hon Ahmed Idris Wase as deputy speaker.
Agents of destabilization who want to see the National Assembly constantly in crisis and at war with other arms of government will fail. Nigerians are tired of seeing such fights. Nigerians want to see governance, peace and sustainable development. That is the cardinal point of Hon Femi. That is the Speaker we offer to Nigeria.
We have a date with history.
Thank you and God bless
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