Senate president and speaker of the House of representative risk losing seats over dual citizenship

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Ahmad-Lawan

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and several other lawmakers risk losing their seats following a recent ruling by an Ondo State Election Petitions Tribunal.

The tribunal on July 31, 2019, sacked Ikengboju Gboluga, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party representing Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency of Ondo State for having dual citizenship and thereafter ordered that Albert Akintoye of the All Progressives Congress be issued the Certificate of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The tribunal headed by Justice Nuhu Adi ruled that Gboluga was not eligible to contest the 2019 National Assembly election, having admitted in his INEC Form CF001 that he had “voluntarily acquired the citizenship of the United Kingdom” and had sworn allegiance to the country.

The judgment was based on Section 66 of the 1999 Constitution which states in part that, “No person shall be qualified for election to the Senate or the House of Representatives if: (a) subject to the provisions of section 28 of this constitution, he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a country other than Nigeria or, except in such cases as may be prescribed by the National Assembly, has made a declaration of allegiance to such a country.”

Investigations by Magic FM showed that of the 109 senators, four admitted in their INEC forms on oath that they had voluntarily acquired the citizenship of another country.