In the Matter of Gbaja, by Chidi Odinkalu

Whatapp News

This In The Matter Of Gbaja is a most interesting one. It should interest all those who want to promote accountable government in #Africa. No, it is not Aprochrypal. It’s all in the Law Reports.

So, Femi Gbajabiamila, is a lawyer. He joined the Georgia Bar in 2001. Around 2003, he got $25000 settlement for client’s personal injury case. He paid the money into attorney trust account but failed to promptly disburse it to the client.

Instead, Gbaja withdrew those funds for his own use, closed his practice in Georgia & fled jurisdiction to a country in West Africa where he ran for & got elected into the lucrative position of Member of Parliament (MP).

Some people speculate that Gbaja may have used some of the proceeds from these funds to fight his election into Parliament. Anyway, after getting elected into Parliament, Gbaja wired back the money to the client in 2006.

Since then, Gbaja has risen steadily up the grease-pole of ambition & politics. In 2015, he came within whiskers of becoming the Speaker of Parliament in this West African country. A compensation, he settled for the position of Majority Leader.

Also in 2015, in Gbaja’s country in West African country, the a new government was elected claiming they were going to clean up thing with the broom of integrity. They were re-elected in 2019. Gbaja is a leading member of this ruling party.

On 11 June 2019, this ruling party powered by the Broom Of Integrity will present Gbaja as its candidate for Speaker of Parliament. Exhibit 1 in the party’s integrity credential is that it plans to install as Speaker, a man disbarred for stealing client’s money.

Party supporters are ecstatic that they will get their man as Speaker after 4 yrs of waiting. The snag is the Speaker should not as a matter of law be a person blighted with record of dishonesty such as professional disbarment for stealing.

So, you can convene a Citizens Parliament & decide – In The Matter Of Gbaja, would you vote to become Speaker of your Parliament, a lawyer who stole his client’s Personal Injury claim-money & got disbarred for it. Would you trust such a person to keep public funds safe?!

Whatapp News