The Right of Dual Citizens to Hold Political Offices in Nigeria: A Different Perspective – Elvis Asia
Source: DNL Legal and Style (Lagos)
The question whether or not a Nigerian who holds the citizenship of another country is qualified to contest for political offices in Nigeria is not novel. The question has been part of our political configuration particularly since 1999 when Nigeria left the shackles of the military. The Court of Appeal attempted to put paid to this vexed question in the case of Ogbeide v. Osula when it held that a Nigerian citizen by birth cannot become ineligible for political office. However, recent developments suggest that this question is far from answered especially given the penchant of politicians to hang on the slightest defect in their opponent’s background.
Recently, the Election Petition Tribunal in Osun State was reported to have ousted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senatorial candidate on the basis of dual citizenship. The decision has been criticized in the media on the premise that it is contrary to established Court of Appeal decisions on the issue. This article therefore takes a second look at the Court of Appeal decisions and formulates a different perspective on the issue.