Tribunal: US Immigration lawyer testifies against Lagos deputy governor



A U.S. Immigration lawyer, Olubusayo Fasidi, on Thursday, said that Lagos Deputy Gov. Obafemi Hamzat took an oath of allegiance in the U.S. to renounce Nigerian citizenship.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Fasidi, a Nigerian, testified before the Lagos State Election Petition Tribunal.

She was led in evidence by Dr Olumide Ayeni (SAN), counsel to the petitioner, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party.

The witness told the tribunal that Hamzat, the third respondent in the petition, also applied for naturalisation as contained in Forms 8CFR/337 and N400.

Ayeni tendered the documents to the three-man tribunal but Counsel to all the respondents objected, saying the reason for their objection would be included in their final written addresses.

During cross-examination by Mr Eric Ogiegor, Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the witness said an individual could enjoy dual citizenship.

She, however, said she was not aware of the provision of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution that dealt with dual citizenship and she was subpoenaed before the tribunal to explain U.S. law and not Nigeria’s Constitution.

Mr Bode Olanipekun (SAN), counsel to Hamzat and Lagos State Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, asked the witness to disclose the jurisdiction and date Hamzat applied for naturalisation but she said she would not, because the information was protected by the Privacy Act of 1974.

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

The witness replied in the affirmative, and Quakers thereafter argued that the witness addressed issues of law and not those of facts.

The tribunal led by Justice Arum Ashom while admitting all the documents in evidence, ordered counsel to the respondents to include their objections in their final written addresses.

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

The tribunal adjourned the case until June 26 for the continuation of hearing.

Earlier, Ayeni presented a result sheet from polling units in nine local government areas of the state to establish differences in some areas, against what is recorded on INEC’s Form EC 40A.

Counsel to INEC, Sanwo-Olu, Hamzat and APC objected to the admissibility of Form EC 40A, reserving reasons until their final written addresses.


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