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Lagos Election Tribunal: LP’s media claim on Hamzat inaccurate, misleading

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The Media Office of the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, has debunked misleading and inaccurate online reports claiming Hamzat renounced his Nigerian Citizenship.

The Media Office of the Deputy Governor in a Rejoinder titled ‘Lagos Deputy Governor, Hamzat takes Oath of Allegiance to Renounce Nigeria – Immigration Lawyer’ and issued to journalists on Friday, said the reports are not true reflections of the record of proceedings of the Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal of June 21, 2023.

The Media Office stated that “There is nowhere in the verifiable record of proceedings of the Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal of 21st of June 2023, when the evidence of one Miss Olubusayo Fasidi, a U.S immigration lawyer, was taken to support the misleading online reports that the incumbent Deputy Governor of Lagos State has renounced his Nigerian Citizenship.

“In a bid to advancing the course of the Labour Party outside of the proceedings of the Election Tribunal, the reports have deliberately set out to mislead members of the general public and to whip up sentiments against the incumbent Governor of Lagos State, and his Deputy.”

The Deputy Governor Media Office, therefore advised members of the public to disregard the deliberate falsehood being bandied about regarding the status of the citizenship of the Deputy Governor of Lagos State.

Commenting on the proceeding of the tribunal on June 21, the Deputy Governor Media Office stated that “the Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal took the evidence of one Miss Olubusayo Fasidi, a U.S immigration lawyer who admitted to practicing in the United States of America.

“She was subpoenaed by the Petitioner [Labour Party] to give evidence as to the status of the 3rd Respondent [Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat] as a Nigerian Citizen before the Tribunal. However, Objections were raised as regards her status as a subpoenaed Witness, given that she had no Written Statement on Oath before the Tribunal; moreover, her Written Statement on Oath, filed out of time was eventually withdrawn by the Counsel to the Petitioner.

“Notwithstanding the Objections, the Tribunal in her overriding wisdom allowed the Witness to proceed to give oral evidence and reserved its ruling as regards the Objections raised till the final judgement. Thus, during the Examination-in-Chief, the said subpoenaed witness tendered two documents namely, a blank Form of Application for U.S Naturalization and a blank Oath of U.S Allegiance Document, tagged Forms 8CFR/337 and N400 respectively which were admitted and marked as Exhibits.

“When the witness was confronted with the fact that the only two documents, she was basing her claims on, were merely downloaded blank documents, the witness stated that she had downloaded the blank documents from the official website of the US Embassy. The witness was thus unable to produce the actual documents, the specific jurisdiction of the United States and the particular date when the 3rd Respondent [Dr. Hamzat] applied for naturalization or took the purported Oath of Allegiance. She equally admitted that she had not attended the ceremony admitting Dr. Hamzat as a citizen of the United States of America.

“The testimony of the witness in question is under serious challenge and in its final judgment the Tribunal will decide whether her testimony is admissible, given that she did not file a witness statement on oath and the self-contradiction of still using a Nigerian passport whilst claiming to have renounced Nigerian citizenship.”

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