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Professionals knock group for dragging Peter Obi to court over “dual citizenship” claim

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Professionals, both at home and in the diaspora, have knocked the group, the National Rescue Movement, for dragging the candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 presidential election, Mr. Peter Gregory Obi, to court over claims that he had “dual citizenship” and sought his disqualification.

News Band had, on Tuesday, in a publication entitled “Group alleges Peter Obi has dual citizenship, seeks disqualification“, reported that the group filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja, Peter Obi’s disqualification.

The group had cited the event in the United States of America when the Mayor of Dallas, Mr Eric Johnson, presented honourary Dallas citizenship and the certificate of citizenship to Obi and he “voluntarily” accepted.

The plaintiff, in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1842/2022, accused Obi of acquiring citizenship of Dallas in Texas, United States, in contravention of Sections 1 and 137 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

It, therefore, prayed the court for an order to disqualify Obi from the presidential race on the ground of breach of the Constitution.

It also asked for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising, dealing with or affording him any right or privilege to stand for the presidential election.

The group also presented a picture and video recording of the presentation of the citizenship certificate to Obi to lay credence to its case.

Professionals speak up

Reacting to the allegation via WhatsApp, a renowned diplomat per excellence and the Deputy Director of the Peter Obi-Datti Baba-Ahmed Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), Mr. Oseloka Obaze, chided the group for dabbling in ignorance.

He stated that “honorary citizenship is a symbolic gesture” and “has neither statutory nor beneficial value to the recipient”, adding that Peter Obi “has never applied to be a Permanent Resident of the United States nor a citizen”.

He said: “Citizenship of the United States is not conferred by a State but by the United States Government.

“The process of citizenship by naturalisation is first via a period of Permanent Residency.

“Peter Obi has never applied to be a Permanent Resident of the US nor a Citizen.

“The Texas honorary citizenship is a symbolic gesture by the State governor accorded to visitors to the State; it has neither statutory nor beneficial value to the recipient.”

When contacted, a Nigerian lawyer based in the United Kingdom who possesses dual citizenship, also towed the line of Obaze.

He rebuked the plaintiff, adding that it would have paid a stiff penalty for wasting the time of the court were the case filed in the United Kingdom.

He added that the issue of dual citizenship “does not apply to a natural citizen”.

Another Nigerian citizen, Ms. Ijeoma Pearl Okoro, while reacting to the publication, also agrees with the previous opinions.

According to her, “Honorary Citizenship if ever awarded does not translate to dual Citizenship.

“The earlier they realise that Obi is no longer a boy, the better,” she added sarcastically. Read more.

 

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