Hamzat Took Oath of Allegiance To U.S, Renounced Nigerian Citizenship – Witness Tells Tribunal

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A U.S. Immigration lawyer, Mrs Olubusayo Fasidi, has said Lagos State Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzat took oath of allegiance in the U.S. to renounce Nigerian citizenship.

Fasidi, a Nigerian, testified before the Lagos State Election Petition Tribunal on Thursday.

She was led in evidence by Dr Olumide Ayeni, SAN, Counsel to the petitioner, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party, LP.

The witness told the tribunal that Hamzat, the third respondent in the petition, also applied for naturalisation as contained in Forms 8CFR/337 and N400.

Ayeni tendered the documents to the three-man tribunal but Counsels to all the respondents objected, saying the reason for their objection would be included in their final written addresses.

During cross-examination by Mr Eric Ogiegor, Counsel to Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the witness said an individual could enjoy dual citizenship.

She, however, said she was not aware of the provisions of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution that dealt with dual citizenship.

She noted that she was subpoenaed before the tribunal to explain U.S. law and not Nigeria’s Constitution.

Mr Bode Olanipekun, SAN, Counsel to Hamzat and Lagos State Governor Babajide SanwoOlu, asked the witness to disclose the jurisdiction and date Hamzat applied for naturalisation but she said she would not, because the information was protected by Privacy Act of 1974.

The All Progressives Congress, APC, Counsel, Mr 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.

The tribunal led by Justice Arum Ashom, while admitting all the documents in evidence, ordered Counsels to the respondents to include their objections in their final written addresses.

The other members of the tribunal are Justice Mikail Abdullahi and Justice l.P. Braimoh.

The tribunal adjourned the case until June 26 for continuation of hearing.

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

Counsel to INEC, SanwoOlu, Hamzat and APC objected to the admissibility of the Form EC 40A, reserving reasons until their final written addresses.

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