Lagos deputy governor denies renouncing Nigerian citizenship, calls claim misleading

THE Lagos State Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, has refuted an allegation that he once renounced his Nigerian citizenship.

The controversy arose when a United States immigration lawyer, Olubusayo Fasidi, informed the Lagos Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal that Hamzat had taken an oath of allegiance in the US renouncing his Nigerian citizenship.

Fasidi had appeared as a witness for the Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour in his petition against the election of the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Reports of Hamzat’s alleged US citizenship had caused a lot of stir online.

However, Hamza, in a statement through his media office on Saturday, June 24 labelled the claim as “misleading and inaccurate.”

The Lagos state deputy governor said the viral report did not accurately reflect the proceedings at the tribunal.

According to him, the witness presented two documents as evidence — an empty US naturalisation application form and an empty oath of US allegiance document, identified as forms 8CFR/337 and N400.

The tendered documents were accepted and marked as exhibits by the tribunal.

He explained that the witness, when confronted with the fact that her claim was based on blank documents, admitted to downloading them from the official website of the US Embassy.

He said that the witness was unable to produce the actual documents specifying the jurisdiction of the US or the date when he allegedly applied for naturalization or took the oath of allegiance.

The statement read, “She equally admitted that she had not attended the ceremony admitting Dr Hamzat as a citizen of the United States of America.

“During her cross-examination by counsel to the 4th respondent (APC), the witness admitted to the fact that the American constitution recognizes dual citizenship with particular reference to the 14th amendment to the constitution of the United States ratified on July 9, 1868.



    “The witness was challenged further that the documents she tendered support the process of application for naturalisation which ultimately culminates in the issuance of an American passport and nothing more.

    “The witness, in reaction to additional questions, confirmed that she did not need to obtain a Nigerian visiting visa because she entered the country with her Nigerian passport.

    “With respect to the question whether the witness was aware that Dr Hamzat fully disclosed the details of his American citizenship in the Form EC9 submitted to INEC, the witness answered in the affirmative.”

    Hamzat urged the public to disregard the “deliberate falsehood” being spread, asserting that the credibility of the witness’ testimony was severely challenged.

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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