14 days to the election of a new Speaker for the House of Representatives, Phillip Undie, who approached a court to stop Majority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila from contesting, has offered to withdraw the suit.
Undie has sent a letter of authorisation to his counsel, Ayodele Temitope Justice, to file a withdrawal notice in court.
The counsel, who confirmed on the telephone that he got the notice of withdrawal from his client, was however silent on the next step.
In a May 27, 2019 letter, “Authorisation to file my withdrawal as plaintiff from suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/539/2019, the plaintiff said he has got fresh facts confirming that Gbajabiamila was cleared of no criminal conviction by the Office of the General Counsel of the State of Georgia.
Undie’s letter to the counsel reads: “I am writing to notify you of my intention to withdraw from the above referenced legal suit wherein I sought for the disqualification of the 1st defendant from contesting the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“It is important that I honorably discontinue the suit following the emergence of more facts indicating that the 1st Defendant, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila was cleared of no criminal conviction in the state of Georgia or any other part of the United States of America in a letter dated August 30, 2010.
“I am also in possession of an order of the Federal High Court, Abuja dated May 22, 2018, delivered by Justice Abdu Kafarati in favour of Femi Gbajabiamila. Kindly avail me details of my legal fees in accordance with our earlier agreement. Accept my warm regards.”
In a follow up statement, Undie said the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adamu Abdu Kafarati had decided a similar case in favour of Gbajabiamila on May 22, 2018.
The statement said: “I, Philip Undie, a Nigerian Tax payer who filed a legal suit against Femi Gbajabiamila in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/539/2019 at the Federal High Court, Abuja on the let day of May 2019.
“The suit was filed in my innocent belief that the first defendant, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila ought not to be allowed to contest for the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives based on information then at my disposal that he had been criminally convicted by the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia, United States of America.
“Since the matter was filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, I have come into possession of more facts on the alleged criminal conviction which shows beyond all doubt that the basis of the suit is found on misinformation and misrepresentation of facts.
“One of the documents I now have is a letter dated as far back as August 30, 2010 issued by the State Bar of Georgia, the body involved in this matter and which regulates legal practice in Georgia, United States of America indicating that the 1st Defendant, Femi Gbajabiamila has no record of criminal conviction in the State of Georgia or any other part of America.
“In fact, the letter states categorically that Femi Gbajabiamila”is currently an active member in good standing of the State Bar of Georgia”.
“In addition, I am also in possession of a copy of the decision of Federal High Court, Abuja in suit FHC/ABJ/CS/501/2015 decided by Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarati in favour of Gbajabiamila on May 22, 2018 as the plaintiff in that case was unable to diligently prosecute the case.
“The suit in reference was based on the same facts as the one in which I am now the plaintiff.
“In view of the above therefore, I wish to honorably announce my decision to immediately discontinue and terminate the suit I initiated at the Federal High Court, Abuja against Hon Femi Gbajabiamila (1st defendant); House of Representatives (2nd defendant); Attorney General of the Federation (3rd defendant); All Progressives Congress (4th defendant).
“Attached herewith are relevant processes to effect the discontinuance and termination of suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/539/2019.”
Undie had last week asked the Federal High Court to stop Gbajabiamila from remaining in the House of Representatives over his alleged conviction in the US for fraud related offences.
In the originating summons filed through an originating summons by his lawyer, Justice, Undie argued that “Gbajabiamila is not a fit and proper person to be elected as a member of the House of Representatives or Speaker having been convicted of $25,000 fraud by the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia, USA.”