Suit against Gbajabiamila’s Speakership Bid Stalled by Non Service

Femi Gbajabiamila

By Alex Enumah in Abuja

A suit seeking to disqualify a leading contender for the office of the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi gbajabiamila, was on Monday stalled owing to the non service of the suit on him.

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, consequently adjourned the suit to Friday, June 7.

The plaintiff, one Philip Undie, had approached the Federal High Court for a restraining order against Gbajabiamila from presenting himself for the election of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Undie had hinged his application on claims that Gbajabiamila, a lawmaker from Lagos State, was once convicted by the Supreme Court of the United States of America on alledged fraudulent practices and as such is not a fit and proper person for the office of Speaker, House of Representatives.

However, when the matter came up on Monday, Gbajabiamila was not in court and was not represented by any legal practitioner.

The plaintiff’s lawyer, Ayodele Justice, informed the court that he has not been able to serve the court process on the lawmaker.

Responding, trial judge, Justice Ekwo, expressed disappointment over the failure of the counsel to serve the lawmaker with the court documents and warned the plaintiff to either get ready for the matter or end the suit.

According to the judge, the suit by its nature is of public interest and must be accorded speedy hearing, adding that since May 21, 2019, when the suit was filed, the plaintiff ought to have made good efforts to serve the lawmaker with the court processes.

The plaintiff counsel however told the judge that he would apply for a substituted service against the lawmaker on the adjourned date.

But in a dramatic turn, another member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Raphael Igbokwe, indicated interest to be joined in the suit as an interested party.

It is not clear if he wanted to join as a plaintiff or defendant, but Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter to Friday, June 7, for mention of the suit and for hearing in the application for substituted service on the lawmaker.

In a chat with journalists after the court session, the counsel to the plaintiff denied that his client withdrew the suit as reported in the media.

He said that by his presence in court Monday, it is a strong indication that the suit has not been withdrawn and will not be withdrawn by the plaintiff.