Election Tribunal: U.S. Immigration Lawyer testifies against Lagos State Deputy Governor
A U.S. Immigration lawyer, Mrs Olubusayo Fasidi, on Thursday said that Lagos Deputy Gov. Obafemi Hamzat took oath of allegiance in the U.S. to renounce Nigerian citizenship.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Fasidi, a Nigerian, testified before 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 that the reason for their objection would be included in their final written addresses.
During cross-examination by Mr Eric Ogiegor, counsel to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the witness said that an individual could enjoy dual citizenship.
She, however, said that she was not aware of the provision of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution that dealt with dual citizenship.
She said that 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 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 continuation of hearing.
Earlier, Ayeni presented 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 the Form EC 40A, reserving reasons until their final written addresses. (NAN)