Alleging clear evidence of fraud and raising moral questions, some petioers have commenced an online petition urging President Muhammadu Buhari to wash his hands off Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila’s race towards becoming Speker of the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
In their online petition titled “Stop Femi Gbajabiamila convicted in the US from becoming Speaker House of Reps” and published on www.change.org, a platform for various social activism causes, the petitioners emphasized that Gbajabiamila’s candidature would permanently dent President Buhari’s anti-corruption image.
While the Gbajabiamila Campaign Director-General of the Gbajabiamila/Wase Campaign Organisation, Honourable . Abdulmumin Jibrin , had on Wednesday dismissed the allegations that Gbajabiamila fled Georgia, USA with the C$25, 000 insurance claims of a client as being untrue.
However, a report by one of Nigeria’s foremost online investigative news websites firmly insists that Gbajabiamila committed the act in February, 2007 while several groups and individuals, including Mr. Danjuma Ibrahim who began the petition on www.change.org are calling for an end to Gbajabiamila’s Speakership candidature.
“President Muhammed Buhari’s major claim is that he is a man of integrity who is fighting corruption; unfortunately, Mr. President and the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have put forward, Hon Femi Hakeem Gbajabiamila to become the Speaker of the 9th House of Assembly.
“Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila is not a fit and proper person to be elected as the Speaker of the House of Representatives in Nigeria, having been previously convicted and sentenced for fraud and dishonesty in relation to the sum of $25,000 by the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia, US.
“That lawmakers-elect into the 9th Session of the House of Representatives should not elect Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker due to the controversy surrounding his conviction in the US and the attendant implications on the reputation of the country, parliament and every Nigerian.
“Electing Gbajabiamila will jeopardize efforts to claim the recently discovered Abacha loot in the US, as Nigeria will be further classified as an unserious nation not ready to fight corruption,” the petition read.
According to the petitioner, such moral burden may be too much for the nation’s image collective interest.
“The image of a once convicted man is bad for the Nigeria’s parliament and could also affected Foreign Direct Investment.
“It is therefore for all our lawmakers to understand the implications of their action and ensure that Nigeria is saved the pains and trouble of electing an internationally tainted personality.
“We are appealing to President Muhammad Buhari and the Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to please withdraw their endorsement and find a suitable candidate; this is necessary in order for his administration not to endanger their anti-corruption fight and damage the image of our dear country Nigeria around the world but most especially in the United States of America where Gbajabiamila is a convicted felon,” the petitioner added.