Lawan, Gbajabiamila may lose seats over dual citizenship
The constitution says whoever has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a country other than Nigeria is not qualified for election to the Senate or the House of Representatives.
On July 31, 2019, the Tribunal sacked a member of the Peoples Democratic Party representing Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency of Ondo State, Ikengboju Gboluga for having dual citizenship.
The court thereafter ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue the Certificate of Return to Albert Akintoye of the All Progressives Congress.
In his judgement, Justice Nuhu Adi ruled that Gboluga was not eligible to contest the 2019 National Assembly election because he admitted in his INEC Form that he had “voluntarily acquired the citizenship of the United Kingdom” and had sworn allegiance to the country", Punch reports.
The judgement, according to the newspaper was based on Section 66 of the 1999 Constitution which states in part that, “No person shall be qualified for election to the Senate or the House of Representatives if: (a) subject to the provisions of section 28 of this constitution, he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a country other than Nigeria or, except in such cases as may be prescribed by the National Assembly, has made a declaration of allegiance to such a country.”
Investigation has, however, shown that out of the 109 lawmakers in the Nigeria Senate, four admitted in their INEC forms that they had acquired the citizenship of another country.
One of the sources, who spoke to Punch on the development said the lawmakers could be more than four, saying most of the lawmakers in the Senate either had the United States or UK citizenship.
The lawmakers, who are said to have sworn allegiance to another country include the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, Senators Opeyemi Bamidele, Teslim Folarin and Ibrahim Bomai.
In his INEC form, Bamidele representing Ekiti Central was said to have admitted that he was US citizen and had also sworn allegiance to the country.
Responding to question on whether he had acquired the citizenship and sworn allegiance to another country, the Senator replied “Yes, the United States of America where I was granted political asylum.”
In his own form, Punch reports that the Senate President admitted that he had voluntarily acquired the citizenship of another country and had sworn allegiance to the same country, but refused to disclose the country.
Folarin, the lawmaker representing Oyo-Central said he voluntarily acquired the citizenship of the United Kingdom, while Bomai of Yobe-South admitted in his form that he had voluntarily acquired the citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda, an island nation in the West Indies in the Americas, Punch reports.
Also, in his form, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Gbajabiamila noted that had acquired the citizenship of the United States of America.
JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!
Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: