Nigerian Speaker Aspirant, Femi Gbajabiamila Suspended In Georgia For Collecting $25,000

by Musa Abdullahi

Femi Gbaja Biamila, surname also spelled Gbaja-Biamila and Gbajabiamila is a Nigerian lawyer, All Progressives Congress politician, and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.

According to case file published by Leagle, Inc. a leading provider of copies of primary caselaw from all Federal courts and all State higher courts in America, referred to as Femi Gbaja, he admits violating Rule 1.15(I) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct set forth in Bar Rule 4-102(d).

The case reads, “This disciplinary matter is before the Court on Respondent Femi Gbaja’s Petition for Voluntary Discipline, which was filed under Bar Rule 4-227(b)(2) before a formal complaint was issued. In his petition, Gbaja admits violating Rule 1.15(I) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct set forth in Bar Rule 4-102(d). Although a violation of this rule is punishable by disbarment, Gbaja requests the imposition of a 24-month suspension. He agrees, however to accept a suspension of up to 36 months.”

It says “Gbaja, who has only been a member of the Bar since 2001, admits that he accepted payment of $25,000 as settlement of a client’s personal injury claims, deposited those funds in his attorney trust account in January 2003, failed to promptly disburse those funds to his client, withdrew those funds for his own use, closed his practice and moved out of the country”.

The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives and one of the contenders for the position of Speaker, Femi, according to the case published by the Leagle, Inc.

“Gbaja admits violating Rule 1.15(I) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct set forth in Bar Rule 4-102(d). Although a violation of this rule is punishable by disbarment, Gbaja requests the imposition of a 24-month suspension. He agrees, however to accept a suspension of up to 36 months.”.

In the Matter of Femi GBAJA, Supreme Court of Georgia, February 26, 2007 cited that, although Gbaja ultimately paid the $25,000 to his client in 2006, he admits his conduct violated Rule 1.15(I) and that, as a result, he is subject to disbarment.

“In mitigation of his actions Gbaja asserts that he has cooperated fully with disciplinary authorities, repaid his client, and is extremely remorseful for the consequences of his conduct. Under these circumstances, we conclude that a 36-month suspension is an appropriate sanction. Accordingly, Gbaja hereby is suspended for a period of 36 months. He is reminded of his duties under Bar Rule 4-219(c).”

Gbaja widely reported as the favourite candidate of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a leader of the APC, to emerge the 8th speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, is said to have attended Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois, United States, and the University of Lagos.

Gbaja Biamila was elected to the House in 2003, and re-elected in 2007. He represents the Surulere I constituency of Lagos State (see Nigerian National Assembly delegation from Lagos) in the House of Representatives.

Gbajamiala, APC, Lagos, is considered one contestant to beat in the race for the speakership of the House of Representatives but he is equally up against strong opponents who are eyeing the seat. They include the Chairman, Committee on House Services, Mr. Yakubu Dogara , APC, Bauchi, Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Constituency Outreach, Mr. Pally Iriase, APC, Edo, Chairman, Committee on Agriculture, Mr. Mohammed Monguno, Borno, APC and Chairman, Committee on Finance, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin, APC, Kano.

There were insinuations that the All Progressives Congress, APC, had zoned the position of Speaker to the South West where Gbajabiamila comes from, but the party has denied the allegations on the matter, practically suggesting that it may be having hard times deciding on it zoning arrangement.

But sources within the party believe Femi is the candidate to beat for the position as Speaker of the 8th assembly come June shortly after the inauguration….

Femi case in Georgia

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