Gboluga vs Akintoye: Why The Oath of Allegiance Must Be Produced In Court Before…

 Barr. Bimpe Olatemiju

The 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 pronouncement on a document not before the court is unlawful and amount to meer sepuculation by trial court and cannot stand on Appeal.

The oath of allegiance to United Kingdom that is being complained by the respondents cannot stand as it was not presented by the respondents. The respondents failed to produce the oath of allegiance as exhibit in their case against Gboluga.

Several authorities had ruled that pronouncement on a document not before the court is unlawful and amount to meet speculation by trial court and thus cannot stand on Appeal.  The best proof of the contents of a document is the document itself and since it’s not tendered at the court, it is tantamount to the fact that it doesn’t exist. 

Yahuza & ORS v. AGU & ORS on an issue whether a court can rely on a document not tendered as exhibit before it.

“It is important to note as well that the trial court could not have proceeded to pronounce on the matter before it, even if all the material contents of exhibit A were deposed to in the affidavit of the parties. Such arguments would be akin to asking the court to rely on evidence on the contents of a document not before it.”

“Eghare UBA v. Osagle (2009) 18 NWLR (or 1173) 299 SC; AG Bendel State v. UBA Ltd (1986) LP6LR.3A 63 (SC): Anyanwu U. Uzowukka (2009)18 NWLR (pt 1159) 445 SC. Oral testimony cannot be used to state the content of a document. Ogundele V. Agiri (2009) 18 NWLR (pt 1173) 219 (2009) LPELR. 2328 (SC). A court cannot speculate on the content of a document not produced before it.”

The trial court could not therefore rely on the depositions of the content of the document which had not been tendered before it. 

The above authority is to the effect that the oath must be produced before the court can pronounce on it. Failure to produce the Oath of Allegiance is fatal to the case of respondents. It is submitted that Exhibit P3 and P4 and INEC form CF001 can not be a substitute for the oath of Allegiance complained of the respondents.

Paragraph 3 (2) of United Kingdom Oath of Allegiance does not renounce your citizenship, it only affirm your allegiance to the Queen and the laws of United Kingdom.

See the oath declaration

“I, [name], swear by Almighty God that, on becoming a British citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her Heirs and Successors according to law.” 

CPC vs INEC (2009) held that there must be sufficient proof even where there is an admission, you can not coffer citizenship by mere oath.

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. Bimpe Olatemiju, a Constitutional Lawyer, Writes from Lagos State 

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