Obafemi Hamzat Renounced Nigerian Citizenship, US Immigration Lawyer Tells Lagos Tribunal

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Obafemi Hamzat Renounced Nigerian Citizenship, US Immigration Lawyer Tells Lagos Tribunal

Olubusayo Fasidi, an immigration lawyer in the United States, has testified before the Lagos state election petition tribunal.

Fasidi appeared before the tribunal on Thursday and was led in evidence by Olumide Ayeni, counsel to Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, governorship candidate of the Labour Party in the last election.

The immigration lawyer told the tribunal that Obafemi Hamzat, Lagos deputy governor, who is the third respondent, applied for naturalisation of US citizenship as contained in forms 8CFR/337 and N400.

She claimed that Hamzat took an oath of allegiance in the US to renounce his Nigerian citizenship.

According to NAN, Ayeni tendered documents to the three-member tribunal but counsel to all the respondents objected.

The counsels said the reasons for their objection will be included in their final written addresses.

During cross-examination by Eric Ogiegor, counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the immigration lawyer said that an individual could enjoy dual citizenship.

She added that she was not aware of the provision of Nigeria’s 1999 constitution (as amended) that dealt with dual citizenship.

She disclosed that she was subpoenaed before the tribunal to explain US law and not Nigeria’s constitution.

HAMZAT’S COUNSEL RESPONDS

Bode Olanipekun, counsel to Hamzat and Babajide Sanwo-Olu, asked the lawyer to disclose the jurisdiction and date Hamzat applied for naturalisation.

She said she would not because the information was protected by the Privacy Act of 1974.

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

The witness replied in the affirmative.

In his response, Quakers argued that the witness addressed issues of law and not of facts.

While admitting the documents tendered, the tribunal led by Arum Ashom, the judge, ordered counsel to the respondents to include their objections in their final written addresses.

The case was adjourned to June 26 for continuation of hearing.