Obafemi Hamzat, the deputy governor of Lagos State, has denied giving up his Nigerian citizenship. Hamzat reportedly referred to reports that he gave up his Nigerian citizenship as “misleading and inaccurate” in a statement released by the deputy governor’s media office.
Hamzat swore an oath of loyalty to renounce his Nigerian citizenship in the US, according to testimony given by Olubusayo Fasidi, an immigration attorney in the US, last Thursday before the Lagos Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.
The media office for Hamzat claimed in the statement that the reports going around do not accurately reflect what happened at the tribunal.
According to the media office, the witness presented two blank forms—forms 8CFR/337 and N400 for the oath of allegiance to the United States and blank forms of application for US naturalization—which were both accepted and designated as exhibits.
The witness claimed that she had obtained the blank paperwork from the US Embassy’s official website when she was informed that the only two documents on which she was based her assertions were merely downloaded blank documents.
The witness was thus unable to show the real documents, the precise United States jurisdiction, or the precise date on which Dr. Hamzat submitted an application for naturalization or allegedly swore the oath of loyalty.
She also acknowledged that she hadn’t 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.
The deputy governor urged the public to disregard “the deliberate falsehood”, saying the testimony of the witness is under serious challenge.
“The testimony of the witness in question is under serious challenge and in its final judgment, the tribunal will decide whether her testimony is admissible, given that she did not file a witness statement on oath and the self-contradiction of still using a Nigerian passport whilst claiming to have renounced Nigerian citizenship,” the statement added.