Charges against the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, by a political party, the African Peoples Party (APP) and one other person before the Grade 1 Area Court, Karishi, Abuja has been quashed by a high court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Bwari.
APP and Anas Isa Mohammed, who are the applicants had said that Gbajabiamila lied on oath during the last general elections while filling form CF001 issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Based on this claim, the area court ordered Gbajabiamila to appear before it.
The speaker of the house of representatives challenged the summons at the high court of the FCT through an application for judicial review, for an order of certiorari, brought pursuant to section 12 of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja Area Courts Act, 2010, Order 44 Rule (A) and (2) of the High Court of the FCT Rules 2018.
Justice Othman Musa of the High Court, Bwari, in receiving Gbajabiamila’s application gave a stay of the order by the area court and ordered the transfer of previous proceedings in the case to his court for review.
In his judgment on Wednesday, Justice Musa cancelled the proceedings brought before the area court saying, “The lower court acted recklessly in a matter it has no jurisdiction to do so."
The suit marked: FCT/HC/BW/M/267/19, saw Justice Musa giving his verdict that the allegation of disciplinary proceedings levelled against Mr. Gbajabiamila was not tantamount to criminal conviction by a court.
According to him, the applicants ought to know that as prescribed by the Electoral Act as amended if false information was given by Gbajabiamila in the course of filling the INEC Form CF001. a criminal charge was supposed to have been filed against the speaker at either the federal high court or the FCT high court.
Referencing the case of Amaechi Versus INEC 2008, Justice Musa said: The order of 26 February 2007 of the State Bar of Georgia, United States of America against Hon Gbajabiamila does not amount to a criminal offence known by any Nigerian law.
“I, therefore, hold the view that the direct criminal complaint against Gbajabiamila was misconceived.
“Having dutifully combed through all the facts and the laws that have been presented before the court, and having soberly reflected on the robust arguments of counsel in the matter, I am satisfied that the reliefs of the application (Gbajabiamila) are granted.
“Consequently, an order is hereby made nullifying the entire proceedings of the Grade 1 Area Court, Karishi, Abuja. The charges in suit no: CR/349/2019 and Motion No: M/19/2019 between African Peoples Party (APP) Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila are hereby quashed."