Source: Sahara Reporters (New York)
Few days ago, news broke out from a popular online news platform suggesting that Nigeria’s Senate President, Sen. Dr. Bukola Saraki is not a citizen of Nigeria by virtue of his holding dual citizenship of the Federal republic of Nigeria and that of the United Kingdom.
By Abdulaziz Olatunde Bakare
The news, like wild fire, reverberated across the country especially on Social media platforms (Twitter and Facebook) where there is a large concentration of Nigerians as part of its worldwide users. Nigerians of all facets not excluding those in the Diaspora began offering differing opinions and counter opinions as to the legality or otherwise of being a holder of dual citizenship and at the same time holding elective office under the constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria as amended. This writer is not oblivious of the political wrangling going on especially within the National Assembly that may have triggered this topic but will keep this discussion strictly within what the constitution has provided for and will not descend into the murky waters of Nigerian politics.
The position of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and judicial pronouncements on the matter are very clear, instantly recognizable and have been unswerving in that- holding dual citizenship of Nigeria and another country will not serve as a bar to such holder from contesting and/or holding elective post in Nigeria; but with a rider; provided that the individual holding the dual citizenship acquired his/her Nigerian nationality by birth. It is our humble view that given the very clear provisions of the Constitution on the issue and the interpretations of those provisions by competent courts it will be manifestly frivolous and without any merit to claim that a Nigerian by birth without more has lost his right to contest/hold an elective office by reason of his holding a dual citizenship.