The United States Government has reportedly terminated the law license of Femi Gbajabiamila, the Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu.
The State Bar of Georgia in the U.S. terminated Gbajabiamila as a licensed lawyer after his alleged corruption and ethical lapses outstripped acceptable thresholds for members.
According to Peoples Gazette, Gbajabiamila was ostracised from the body effective July 1, 2020, for allegedly stealing money from a client and also failing to pay his membership fees for a period of time.
Georgia Bar officials told the news platform that Gbajabiamila’s latest ordeal began when a client filed a grievance against him for theft, but he subsequently ignored the bar and stopped paying his fees and other membership obligations.
The Gazette was told that attempts were made to reach the former Speaker of the House of Representatives through his Peachtree Road address in Atlanta, but he frustrated it all.
On July 2, 2015, Gbajabiamila was suspended for five years and was finally approved as a permanent termination of his membership on July 1, 2020.
Gbajabiamila, who was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia on June 29, 2001, was the Speaker of the House of Representatives at the time of his infractions in the U.S.
“He can no longer practice law in the state of Georgia. He’s done,” an official told The Gazette.
In a unanimous decision on February 26, 2007, the Supreme Court of Georgia approved the suspension of Gbajabiamila for 36 months, after he admitted stealing $25,000 from a client.
The former Speaker was reinstated after serving out his suspension, only for him to allegedly commit another infraction that led to his final dismissal.
“Mr Gbajabiamila, 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 court said at the time.
Gbajabiamila, who had already been a federal lawmaker for nearly four years before the verdict, allegedly paid the money back in 2006, a year before the judgement, in order to get lighter punishment, including being disbarred.