sarakiSenate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has denied concealing his United Kingdom citizenship to avoid being disqualified from holding political office in Nigeria. He explained that the constitution protects him for possessing dual citizenship being a Nigerian by birth.
Reacting to a post by an online medium that he shouldn’t have been the Senate President for being a dual citizen, as well as the allegation of bank fraud hanging on his neck, Saraki said the medium was only doing the bidding of its paymasters, who would soon be exposed.
Saraki, in a statement issued yesterday by his Special Assistant on New Media, Bamikole Omishore, recalled that on Thursday, August 6, the medium published a totally fabricated report entitled “Nigeria’s Senate President Saraki Lied In His Official Election Forms” on its website.
He described the report as dubious and utterly false, saying the point the organisation has been trying to make as regards his dual citizenship is a moot one, adding that the publication was meant to tarnish his image.
The statement said: “It is also of importance to state categorically here that Senator Saraki’s UK passport as posted on the website of the medium is a forged document that deserves thorough investigation by the UK Home and Passport Office.”
“As it stands, a detailed perusal of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria clearly indicates that the point the organisation is attempting to raise is moot, especially with regards to holding UK citizenship.
“The ready question at hand to ask is why the medium (name withheld) has intentionally remained silent and avoided to look into the constitutional provisions of right to hold dual citizenship, especially where the party in question holds Nigerian citizenship by birth.
“The second relevant question is, if in fact, the purpose of such a publication was for public interest, has Sahara Reporters carried out diligent investigation on the authenticity of its report before publication? If the answers to the above questions are in the negative, then the rationale behind the report is for obvious reasons”, he stated.
The statement continued: “For the avoidance of doubt and for record purposes, Section 25(1) (c) of the Nigerian Constitution discredits the organisation argument that Dr. Saraki is ineligible for public office.
“The section clearly stipulates that “every person born outside Nigeria either of whose parent, is a citizen of Nigeria,” are considered “citizens of Nigeria by birth.” What this means is that even if the Senate President were born in the UK, he will qualify as a citizen of Nigeria by birth under S. 25(1c) – citizen by birth through parentage.
“Also, there has always been a flawed misconception on the issue of dual citizenship vis-a-vis a holder of public office in Nigeria. Section 28 of the 1999 Constitution (as (amended) deals with this wherein it highlights the fact that only those who are Nigerians by registration or naturalisation shall forfeit their citizenship if they acquire the citizenship of another country.
“It is important to state at this juncture that the requirement to forfeit Nigerian nationality/citizenship upon acquisition of the nationality/citizenship of another country, does not apply to persons who are Nigerians by birth within the definition of Section 25 of the Constitution. This section also acknowledges and protects the right to hold citizenship by birth of another country–as citizenship by birth is an inalienable right under the Constitution
“Furthermore, to put this particular issue to rest, the import of S.66(1)(a) of the Constitution cannot be underestimated. The section clearly states that: “Subject to S.28 of the Constitution, anybody who has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of another country must be disqualified.
“The key word here is ‘voluntarily’, and is subject to the provisions of S.28, which protect the right to hold the citizenship of another country if such citizenship is acquired by birth.
“In other words, Section 28 states clearly that dual citizenship is allowable where one qualifies as a Nigerian by Birth as contained in Section 25 (1) (a), (b) and (c) of the Constitution.
“The only instance in which forfeiture of citizenship becomes applicable under the Constitution is by holders of: i) citizenship by registration under Section 26; and ii) citizenship by naturalisation, under Section 27 of the Constitution.
“It beats ordinary sense of imagination of how the media outfit went to the extent of producing and pasting fake UK passport claiming it to be that of Senator Bukola Saraki. What on earth would it benefit from such “pull him down at all cost” syndrome?
The statement informed that Senator Saraki had on July 19 instructed his solicitors in UK to write the UK Home Office to commence immediate investigation into this act of criminality.
It said, “There is no doubt that this is a typical criminal offence against the State and also an act of defamation of character against the President of the Senate and whoever is found responsible should be prosecuted.
“The question that needs to be unravelled thereof by the UK Home and Passport Office, among other things; where did the organisation get a forged or fake UK passport which it claims belongs to Senator Saraki and decided to post same on its website? he queried.

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