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US Immigration lawyer testifies against Lagos dep governor for renouncing Nigerian citizenship

Olubusayo Fasidi, an immigration lawyer in the United States, on Thursday, called out the deputy governor of Lagos State, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, who allegedly swore an oath of loyalty to renounce his Nigerian citizenship in the United States.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), an American based Nigerian, Fasidi, reportedly stood as a witness before the Lagos State Election Petition Tribunal.

Dr. Olumide Ayeni (SAN), the lawyer representing the petitioner, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party, introduced her as a witness.

The witness testified before the court that Hamzat, the third defendant to the petition, likewise submitted Forms 8CFR/337 and N400 requesting naturalisation.

The materials were presented by Ayeni before the three-person tribunal, but the counsel for each respondent protested, stating that their justification would be contained in each of their final written statements.

The witness claimed that a person could have dual citizenship during an interrogation by Mr. Eric Ogiegor, Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

She claimed, however, that she was not aware of the section of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution that addressed dual citizenship and that the tribunal had summoned her to explain U.S. law rather than the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria.

The witness was requested by Mr. Bode Olanipekun (SAN), legal counsel for Hamzat and Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to reveal the location and day of Hamzat’s naturalisation application, but she refused, citing the Privacy Act of 1974 as protecting the information.

Mr. Norris Quakers, the attorney for the All Progressives Congress (APC), questioned the witness on her knowledge of Hamzat’s disclosure of his American citizenship.

After the witness gave a positive reply, Quakers claimed that the witness was speaking about legal and not factual matters.

The tribunal presided over by Justice Arum Ashom directed the respondent’s lawyers to include their concerns in their final written addresses while all of the papers were admitted as evidence.

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

For the purpose of continuing the hearing, the tribunal adjourned the case to June 26.

In order to identify variations in some locations from what is recorded on INEC’s Form EC 40A, Ayeni earlier produced a result sheet from polling stations in nine local government areas of the state.

Sanwo-Olu, Hamzat, and APC objected to the Form EC 40A’s admissibility while reserving their reasons until their final written addresses.

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