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Hamzat has renounced his Nigerian citizenship, says U.S.-based immigration lawyer

A United States Immigration lawyer,  Olubusayo Fasidi, has told the Lagos State Election Petition Tribunal that Lagos Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat took an oath of allegiance in the U.S. to renounce Nigerian citizenship.

Fasidi, who was subpoenaed, disclosed this at the Lagos State Election Petition Tribunal when she was led-in-evidence by Olumide Ayeni, counsel to Labour Party (LP) candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, who filed petition before the tribunal.

According to the witness, Hamzat, the third respondent in the petition, also applied for naturalisation as contained in Forms 8CFR/337 and N400.

The counsel sought to tender the documents before the three-man panel, headed by Justice Arum Ashom, but counsel to all the respondents vehemently opposed it.

They submitted that reasons for their objection would be included in their final written addresses. However, when the witness was cross-examined by counsel to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Eric Ogiegor, she said an individual could enjoy dual citizenship.

She said she was not aware of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution (as amended) that dealt with dual citizenship, but only called to explain U.S. law and not Nigeria’s Constitution.

However, counsel to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Bode Olanipekun (SAN), asked the witness to disclose the jurisdiction and the date Hamzat applied for naturalisation but she said she would not, as the information is protected by the U.S. Privacy Act of 1974.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) counsel, Norris Quakers, asked the witness if she was aware that Hamzat disclosed his American citizenship.

The witness replied in the affirmative, and Quakers thereafter argued that the witness addressed issues of law and not those of facts.

Earlier, during proceedings, Ayeni presented result sheet from polling units in nine local councils of the state to establish differences in some areas against what is recorded on INEC’s Form EC 40A.

But counsel to INEC, Sanwo-Olu, Hamzat and APC objected to the admissibility of the form, reserving reasons until their final written addresses.

 

 

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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