…By Enitan Thompson for TDPel Media.
Nigeria’s President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, addressed the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal through his lead counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), where he refuted allegations of holding Guinean citizenship.
Tinubu argued that his Guinean citizenship automatically became invalid upon the expiration of his passport in 2020.
This statement was made in response to a petition brought before the tribunal by the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
The controversy surrounding Tinubu’s citizenship emerged during the lead-up to the 2023 general election, when an investigative journalist shared a document online claiming that Tinubu held Guinean citizenship.
Challenging the Guinean Citizenship Claims:
The publication of Tinubu’s alleged Guinean citizenship sparked a strong reaction from members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), who dismissed the document as fake and doctored.
However, during the latest hearing on Peter Obi and the Labour Party’s petition challenging Tinubu’s victory in the February 25th presidential election, Tinubu’s counsel, Olanipekun, admitted that Tinubu indeed possessed Guinean citizenship, but emphasized that it had expired in 2020 along with his Guinean passport.
Expiration of Tinubu’s Guinean Passport:
Olanipekun informed the court that the Guinean passport, presented as evidence by the Labour Party (PW27 Exhibit PBF4), had been downloaded from the internet and displayed by the opposition.
He asserted that this document showed that the passport had expired in 2020.
Tinubu’s legal counsel argued that the Labour Party’s claims regarding Tinubu’s dual citizenship were baseless and intended solely to embarrass the President.
In his defense against the allegations of Guinean citizenship, President Tinubu contended that his Guinean citizenship automatically ceased to be valid when his passport expired in 2020.
Through his legal counsel, Tinubu dismissed the opposition’s claims as guesswork aimed at embarrassing him.
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal will further assess the validity of these allegations and determine their impact on Tinubu’s position as the winner of the February 25th presidential election.