Senate President, Saraki Attacks Sahara Reporters, Cautions Nigerians

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DSS Report: Saraki Reacts To Magu’s Rejection

The Senate President of Nigeria, has responded to SAHARA REPORTERS’ claim that he lied in his official election forms.

READ ALSO: Sahara Reporters Says Senate President, Saraki Is Not A Nigerian Citizen

Saraki, Senate President

Here is an excerpt of the statement below:

On Thursday, August 6th, 2015, SaharaReporters published a totally fabricated report entitled: “Nigeria’s Senate President Saraki Lied In His Official Election Forms” on its website. In that dubious and utterly false report, SR alleged that the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, is not a Nigerian citizen. The article went further, based solely on suppositions to infer that Dr. Saraki intentionally avoided question 10 on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) form for candidates contesting National Assembly elections and by so doing must have sworn to an oath of allegiance to another country, such as United Kingdom, the report concluded.

The article also suggested that the Senate President avoided stating his place of birth on the INEC form, and that he is intentionally concealing his UK citizenship to avoid being disqualified in any way from political office.

One is not unmindful of the obvious fact that freedom of expression may be absolutely basic human right, but it is pertinent to state that it is not without limits. This obvious fact has brought to bear, what is the essence of journalism which is meant to educate, orientate and bring out the truth to ensure justice, equity and fairness in every human endeavor. Unfortunately, it seems the tenets of professional journalism means nothing to Sahara Reporters.

As it stands, a detailed perusal of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, clearly indicates that the point Sahara Reporters is attempting to raise is moot – especially with regards to holding UK citizenship. The ready question at hand to ask is; why Sahara Reporter 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.

For the avoidance of doubt and for record purposes, Section 25(1)(c) of the Nigerian Constitution discredit Sahara Reporters’ argument that Dr. Saraki is ineligible for public office. The section clearly stipulates that “every person born outside Nigeria either of whose parents 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. S.28 of the 1999 Constitution (as (amended) deals with this wherein it highlights the fact that only those who are Nigerians by registration or naturalization 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 naturalization, under Section 27 of the Constitution.

The Court of Appeal decision in the case of Dr. Willie Ogebide v. Mr. Arigbe Osula {2004} 12 NWLR Part 886 pp 127 paragraphs D-G says it all. Adeniji JCA reading the lead judgment held that:
Holding the citizenship of another country does not preclude, disqualify or nullify a person from having, acquiring or retaining Nigerian citizenship by birth. This is even more prevalent where such citizenship has been acquired by birth. Furthermore, there is no requirement for a dual citizen of Nigeria (by birth) and another country to renounce either citizenship.

In view of the above, holding dual citizenship does not mean that a public office holder, like the Senate President had earlier changed his nationality in the past; it simply means he has held both citizenships simultaneously without the need to acquire one after the other. As both were acquired by birth, the Senate President automatically had both citizenships ‘bestowed’ on him from the moment of his birth.

To this end, citizens of a country by birth do not need to swear to an oath of allegiance to that country; it is only citizenship acquired through naturalization and registration that have the requirement to take an oath of allegiance. Above all, there is no evidence that Dr. Saraki took an oath of allegiance or intentionally attempted to conceal his UK citizenship – especially as he has never denied holding the citizenship in question.

One is however uncomprensible, as it beats ordinary sense of imagination of how Sahara Reporters went to extent of producing and pasting fake UK passport claiming it to be that of Senator Bukola Saraki. What on earth would Sahara Reporters benefit from such “pull him down at all cost” syndrome? This is an indication that the online media outfit is out to tarnish the image of the President of the Senate. It is a confirmation of the fact that Sahara Reporters is doing the bidding of its pay masters which is well known to all and sundry as the man behind the scene will soon be exposed and brought to the public domain.

It is also of importance to state categorically here that Senator Saraki’s UK passport as posted on the website of Sahara Reporters is a forged document that deserve thorough investigation by the UK Home and passport Office. Senator Saraki on the 19th of July 2015, has instructed his Solicitors in UK to write the UK Home Office to commence immediate investigation into this act of criminality .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 Sahara Reporters get a forged or fake UK passport which it claims it belongs to Senator Saraki and decided to post same on its website?.

To this end, it is no longer shocking, based on the antecedents of Sahara Reporters, the extent to which Sahara Reporters and its sponsors are willing to go to malign the person of Senator Saraki; passing off a forged/fake document as authentic is no doubt a criminal offence in every jurisdiction. Now that the entire public has clarity on Sahara Reporters and it’s criminal indulgence, Sahara Reporters needs to explain the source of this fake document to the UK Home Office.

Sahara Reporters, its cronies, allies and sponsors must be ready to face the full course of law upon conclusion of the investigation by the UK Authorities. We hereby urge the public to remain vigilant and be watchful of reports and and stories published by Sahara Reporters as they may be laced with blatant lies, deceit and criminality devoid of any iota of truth. We shall make public, the outcome of the investigation by the UK Home office and passport office.

Datboyjerry

Datboyjerry

I am but your herald boy in the art of the pen.. An eccentric Environmental Biologist smouldered in the glorious epiphany of online journalism.

If you ever find my article unduly insipid, sue me and i’ll refund you…

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