Nigerian lawyer and National President of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, (CDHR) Malachy Ugwummadu, has said the House of Representatives needs leaders who are untainted by corruption and criminality.
He stated this in reaction to the report by Sahara Reporters that Nigerian lawmaker, Femi Gbajabiamila was found guilty by a Supreme Court of Georgia in the United States of America.
Speaking with SaharaReporters on Wednesday night, the human rights lawyer called on the Nigerian media to dig deep into the issue and bring out the evidence and facts tat would assist the public in getting a clear understanding of the issue.
Citing Section 22 of the Nigerian constitution, he said the media has the responsibility to hold government and its state actors like Femi Gbajabiamila accountable. He said the issue calls for a “crack investigative journalism”.
"My take is simple: we do not need the baggage or a candidate with a lot of baggage whose integrity is in question. Being a political contest you won’t expect anything less than what is going on now. You have a lawyer who practised in the state of Georgia with a full licence bearing a particular name, Femi Gbajabiamila. Even if for the sake of pronunciation the white man abbreviates the name to Gbaja it doesn’t mean that documents and credentials attributable to him should bear Femi Gbaja that is one area of curiosity.
“If it is that he was indicted and that he was cleared, let us know. If he made a change of name to be able to avoid what it is that happened, then let us know. But I think that members of the national assembly will do well by rising above sentiments and be able to get to the root of what happened.
“In fact, nothing stops the media to come up with a concrete composite discussion on this matter based on fact and evidence that are available. I just made a final call as far we are concerned the story is out there. There are counter-positions taken. But it would be better if we are not bogged down by a candidate who has a lot of baggage or explanation to make as regards this kind of issue.
When asked if Gbajabiamila could be sued for perjury, Malachy laying reference to the case of Salisu Buhari, said: “He will be cited for perjury. There are requirements of the law that expects him to post an affidavit confirming or denying whether he has been arrested in the past.
"If he stated no and the facts are now coming out that he was once convicted, that is lying on oath and that would be clear case of perjury. You cannot expressively survive that kind of situation. If he is found guilty, it means he was not disqualified to even contest the election let alone, be a member of the house.”