Lagos Deputy Governor, Hamzat Addresses Speculations Regarding Renouncing Nigerian Citizenship

Obafemi Hamzat, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, has dismissed the claims that he renounced his Nigerian citizenship as misleading and inaccurate. Last week, an immigration lawyer in the United States, Olubusayo Fasidi, alleged before the Lagos Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal that Hamzat took an oath of allegiance in the US to renounce his Nigerian citizenship.

However, Hamzat’s media office released a statement clarifying that the reports circulating about the proceedings at the tribunal are not an accurate representation of what actually transpired. According to the statement, the witness presented two blank documents downloaded from the website of the US Embassy but failed to produce the actual documents related to the alleged oath of allegiance.

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Hamzat urged the public to disregard these false claims and highlighted that the testimony of the witness is being seriously challenged. The statement clarified that the witness could not provide the specific jurisdiction of the United States or the date on which Hamzat purportedly took the oath of allegiance. The witness admitted to downloading blank documents from the US Embassy’s official website.

During cross-examination by the counsel to the All Progressives Congress (APC), the witness acknowledged that the American constitution recognizes dual citizenship, specifically referring to the 14th amendment ratified on July 9, 1868. The witness also admitted that the documents she presented support the application process for naturalization, leading to the issuance of an American passport.

The witness further confirmed that she did not need to obtain a Nigerian visa as she entered the country using her Nigerian passport. Regarding whether the witness was aware that Hamzat disclosed his American citizenship details in the Form EC9 submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the witness affirmed this fact.

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The statement concludes by emphasizing that the witness’s testimony is being seriously challenged, and the tribunal will determine its admissibility, considering that she did not file a witness statement on oath and her self-contradiction in still using a Nigerian passport while claiming to have renounced Nigerian citizenship.

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