Gboluga vs Akintoye: Section 66 (1a) of 1999 Constitution Misconstrued

Barr Olatimeju Bimpe

The jist of their argument that Hon. Ikengboju Gboluga sworn to declaration of oath of Allegiance to United Kingdom is baseless and does not represent the true definition of the relevant section of the constitution.

The fact that the respondents agreed that dual citizenship is acceptable to the qualification of National Assembly offices shows that Hon. Gboluga Ikengboju is the duly elected candidate for Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency. 

Oath of allegiance is a legal requirement to acquire the citizenship of any country and it doesn’t in any way remove the citizenship of his country of birth. Can you take away the citizenship of a Nigerian by birth? Absolutely No! 

Hon. Gboluga is a Nigerian by birth, born of Nigeria parents, school in Nigeria and also did the compulsory National Youth Service Corps in Nigeria thus being a UK citizen by naturalization does not remove the status of his citizenship of Nigeria.

The judgement of Higher Court/Appeal court ,Supreme Court in the celebrated case of Governor Ajimobi and Senator Obanikoro wherein the court gave credence to the provision of the constitution of the Nigeria endorsing Section 28 therein. These and many more judgments are precedents and nothing can stop the mandate of Hon. Gboluga Ikengboju. 

Section 28 of the 1999 constitution is very clear on the issue of dual citizenship and oath of allegiance. 

It is clear and I hereby hold that the acquisition of dual citizenship by a Nigerian per say is not a ground for disqualification for election to the National Assembly particularly where the Nigerian citizen is a citizen by birth. That is the clear meaning of the provisions in sections 66(1) and 28 of the 1999 constitution when taken together.

Hon Gboluga is a citizen of Nigeria by Birth. He cannot be deprived of his inalienable right as guaranteed by the constitution which is the bedrock.

Barr Olatimeju, a constitutional Lawyer, writes from Akure, Ondo State Capital.

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