In 2018, Mr Victor Koreyo, a lecturer at Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, wrote a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari requesting to have his citizenship renounced. Why?
Nigeria is hard.
And, we understand. That is why we have scoured the constitution for you, and found all you need to know about the process of renouncing your Nigerian citizenship. Just in case.
Are you eligible?
For you to be allowed to renounce your citizenship, there are some criteria you must meet.
- "Adulting" stage: Being an adult in Nigeria alone is grounds to give up on the whole thing. It is basically being your own government, so do you still need this citizenship thing? The constitution demands that you must be 18 years or older, with the exception of a married woman below 18.
- Even if you are extremely frustrated, you must still be of sound mind.
- "Have a faction": You have to belong to another country i.e. you must have acquired or would likely be granted citizenship in another country.
- You must not have any criminal or financial liability to Nigeria.
How do you go about renouncing your citizenship?
While you may be starting your process, you need to know that the president reserves the power to withhold the renunciation of any citizen based on reasons we will state later. That being said, here are steps you need to take.
- Visit the appropriate authority i.e the Ministry of interior, Nigerian immigration service or the Nigerian embassy in the country where you reside.
- Fill the application form with complete information which you must sign and certify before a magistrate, notary public, justice of peace or commissioner of oath.
- Submit the following appropriate documents along with your application form:
- Birth certificate, Proof of acquisition of citizenship in another country, i.e. copy of foreign passport and copy of foreign citizenship certificate, Nigerian passport or other travel documents, Marriage document, National identity card and Passport-sized photograph
The president can decide not to grant your renunciation if:
- You're trying to run away from war: If you made your declaration during any war in which Nigeria is physically involved, you may not be allowed to run away. We need more men, c'mon!
- The president is of the opinion that your leaving will be contrary to public policy.
Are you looking for a loophole out? You can work towards any of these.
- If you pledge your allegiance or loyalty to another country other than Nigeria, you automatically relinquish your Nigerian citizenship of his earlier country. This can mean joining the armed forces of the other country or accepting jobs where you sign an oath/declaration of allegiance.
- The president can decide to revoke your citizenship if you commit treason. This means you have shown yourself by act or speech to be disloyal towards Nigeria.
- The president can decide to revoke your citizenship if you are deemed a saboteur. If you unlawfully communicated, assisted or traded with the enemy, during any war in which Nigeria was engaged, with intent to cause damage to the interest of Nigeria, then you'll be deprived of your Nigerian citizenship. (10/10 do not recommend).
We have some... good-bad news
So, with all said and done, it's only right to drop the real bomb right at the end.
ALL THE CRITERIA WE HAVE HIGHLIGHTED DO NOT APPLY TO NIGERIAN CITIZENS-BY-BIRTH. Basically, if you were born in Nigeria, YOU CAN NEVER RENOUNCE YOUR CITIZENSHIP. There is simply no loophole that allows you revoke your Nigerian-ness.
We are here in this together. #GodBlessNigeria