[JUST IN] Dual Citizenship Saga: Appeal Court upholds Ondo PDP Reps member election
By Emmanuel Bagudu, Abuja
The Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Thursday upheld the election of a member of the House of Representatives from Ondo State, Mr. Ikengboju Gboluga.
Gboluga, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, was declared the winner of the February 23, 2019 House of Representatives election in the Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency of the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
But the All Progressives Congress candidate in the election, Mr. Albert Akintoye challenged the victory of the PDP candidate at the Election Petition Tribunal, which later nullified the election on the grounds that Gboluga is also a citizen of the United Kingdom.
Not satisfied with the tribunal’s judgment, Gboluga filed an appeal against the lower court judgment.
In a unanimous judgment, the trio of justices of the appellate court held that a Nigerian citizen by birth could not be disqualified from contesting an election because he acquired additional citizenship of other countries and sworn an oath of allegiance to such countries.
The presiding judge, Justice M.A Danjuma, who read the judgement noted that based on the grounds of dual citizenship, the lower court was wrong to have sacked Gboluga.
The appellate court also faulted the election tribunal, saying it interpreted the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria wrongfully.
To this end, the court voided the judgment of the tribunal and upheld the election of Ikengboju Gboluga as the duly elected representative of Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency of Ondo State.