Michael Aondoakaa, a former minister of justice and attorney-general of the Federation (AGF), has claimed that despite having dual citizenship, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu did not violate any law or procedure in running for Nigeria’s presidency.
Aondoakaa stated that once a person is a first-generation Nigerian, he or she cannot be disqualified from running in elections even if he or she obtains a second citizenship through naturalization or registration.
During an interview with Arise TV on Tuesday, the former AGF stated that dual citizenship can only disqualify “a person who obtains such status by naturalization or registration.”
WITHIN NIGERIA recalls there were issues raised concerning Nigeria’s President-elect, Bola Tinubu regarding reports that he allegedly obtained citizenship of Guinea, a country in West Africa.
Some argue that Tinubu’s dual citizenship prevents him from running for office in Nigeria because his total allegiance to Nigeria is not guaranteed.
Citing section 137 (1)(a) of the 1999 constitution that says:
A person shall not be qualified for election to the office of President if — 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, he has made a declaration of allegiance to such other country, the antagonists said Tinubu 2023 presidential election victory should be nullified.
However, speaking on the matter on Tuesday, Aondoakaa said the only thing that can make such an argument hold water is if the complainants establish that Tinubu was not a Nigerian by birth before obtaining dual citizenship.
But assuming it was in the petition, the position of the law is that a person who has dual citizenship by naturalization or registration cannot contest for president in Nigeria, the former AGF said.
But a person who is born in Nigeria, and acquired citizenship in another country, has the right to contest an election. It would be strange to say that the winner of the election, Tinubu, has the citizenship of another country. You must prove first that he is not a Nigerian by birth. That is the first challenge and if you can prove that. Then you can bring up the issue of acquiring another citizenship.