An Abuja-based legal practitioner, Paul Ajiroba has approached a Federal High Court, Abuja, with a suit seeking to disqualify Hon. Umar Bago from contesting the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 9th National Assembly.
In the suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/598/2019, with Bago, All Progressives Congress (APC) and Polaris Bank Plc as 1st to 3rd respondents and filed on Monday June 3, 2019, the plaintiff asked the court to restrain Umar Bago of Chanchanga Federal Constituency of Niger state from contesting for the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 9th Assembly.
The plaintiff, who claimed to be passionate about good governance, transparency and integrity in governance, also prayed the court to void the nomination and election of Umar Bago, having not qualified to run for such office.
Other issues the plaintiff wants the court to determine include, “Whether by virtue of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the first defendant is qualified to spire and to run for the office of a member of the House of Representatives since 2011, having been dismissed or relieved from his employment from Afribank Nigeria Plc (now Polaris Bank) for misappropriation, conversion of depositors’ money to personal use and related offences.
“Whether by virtue of the sack, dismissal or compulsory relive of the first defendant from the employment of the Afribank Plc (now Polaris Bank) for financial misappropriation, conversion of depositors funds to personal use and financial impropriety, the first defendant is not disqualified from running for the office of Member, House of Representatives, or even Speaker of the House”.
The plaintiff said in an affidavit he deposed to personally, that he is aware that Bago, who has been a member of the House since 2011, is currently aspiring for the position of Speaker of the House of Reps.
Ajiroba said Bago had worked as a manager of Minna Branch of Afribank Plc in 2008 and was sacked in 2009 for allegedly mismanaging depositors’ funds, thereby defrauding the bank and embarrassing it before its customers.
The plaintiff averred that the first defendant allegedly dipped his hands into the funds belonging to one of the customers of the bank and converted about N200 million against normal banking process.
He alleged that “That Umar Bago had dipped his hands into the said account and had converted same to personal use, in abuse of his office, without the consent and approval of the bank and its customer”.
He further averred that when the owner of the money demanded for the money, it was not available for payment, causing the bank a serious embarrassment.
This development, he said led to the sack of Hon. Umar Bago for abuse of office, financial impropriety and conversion of depositors’ funds to personal use from the bank in 2009 and as such, unfit and unqualified to aspire for the position of Member of the House of Representatives or even Speaker of the House.
The suit is yet to be assigned to any judge.