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University Don Waves Off Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Dual Citizenship Issue as Mere Distraction, Urges Nigerians in Diaspora to Exercise their Franchise

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Bola Ahmed Tinubu's Spokesman Finally Reacts To Outcome Of Edo Election ...By Uche Amunike

Following the intense debate across social media platforms over the alleged dual citizenship status of Nigeria’s President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a professor of law at the University of Lagos, Yemi Oke, has said that there is no law in Nigeria that prevents an elective office holder from having dual citizenship.

Recall that after a picture of the bio data page of a Guinean passport bearing the picture and information of Nigeria’s President-elect surfaced on the Internet, about two weeks ago, it gave rise to frenzy on social media platforms and a discourse pointing to the fact that Nigeria’s president-elect was ineligible to contest for the presidency or hold the office due to his alleged dual citizenship.

The discourse centered around the fact that Tinubu failed to own up to his alleged dual citizenship to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), while he was filling the form given to him by the electoral umpire, under oath.

Professor Yemi Oke has however bared his mind on the issue, maintaining that the Nigerian constitution permits dual citizenship. Citing Section 28 of the constitution, the legal luminary stated that dual citizenship is allowed when one qualifies as a Nigerian by birth.

Hear him: ‘Dual citizenship is allowable where one qualifies as a Nigerian by birth. It is my considered opinion that a Nigerian by BIRTH can retain, and maintain dual citizenship for purposes of seeking any elective office(s) in Nigeria till date,’ the university don argued.

He however clarified that: ‘the only instance in which forfeiture of citizenship is allowed under the Constitution… is by holders of… ‘citizenship by registration’and ‘citizenship by naturalisation.’

He made reference to the former governor of Kwara state and Nigerian Senate President, Bukola Saraki who was accused of having dual citizenship in a desperate attempt to scuttle his Senate presidency ambition.

His words: ‘The issue of dual citizenship had initially occurred when a Kwara-born politician was to become President of the Senate of Nigeria and was ‘accused’ of dual citizenship of Nigeria and the United Kingdom.’

He noted that the same issue has re-emerged concerning Bola AhmedTinubu and should not be taken seriously as it was nothing short of mere distraction.

‘It is my candid opinion that it is an ill-conceived distraction that will fizzle out,’ he said.

He further addressed the issue of INEC disobeying court judgement on diaspora voting. He submitted that the independent national Electoral Commission is in content court order that authorized Nigerians in the diaspora to vote during elections.

According to him he was one of the plaintiffs in the suits instituted against INEC in 2007, but however explained that INEC refused to comply with the judgment that directed it to allow Nigerians in the diaspora to vote in elections in their country of origin, Nigeria.

He criticized Nigerians for forgetting to recognize their legal rights and urged them to take steps in ensuring that INEC complied with the judgment given in favour of Nigerians in diaspora to vote in the country’s general elections, as there might not be any more elections in the future without those in the diaspora exercising their voting rights.

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