Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has said that he has a British passport, but denies being the owner of a particular British passport which is being circulated online and on social media. He said that the online passport is a forged one.
Expected to appear at the Code of Conduct Tribunal on Monday to answer to allegations of false assets declaration Saraki was forced to respond to issues surrounding his ownership of a British passport. He said the reason he has a passport is because he was born in the European nation.
He however said that he was not the owner of the other passport circulating in the media and has instructed his lawyers to contact the United Kingdom Passport Office to investigate the act of criminality.
Saraki’s latest statement was signed by his special assistant on new media, Bamikole Omishore.
Reacting to calls that he should step down as senate president, Saraki explained that only those who voluntarily obtained the citizenship of another country are disqualified from holding public office.
“It is important to state 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,” he said.
Adding that, “Citizens of a country by birth do not need to swear to an oath of allegiance to that country. It is only a citizenship acquired through naturalisation and registration that has the requirement to take an oath of allegiance,” he added.
Findings by his lawyer revealed that Saraki’s passport was forged. “Andrew Stephenson of Discreet Law, London, Her Majesty Passport Office confirmed that the published passport was forged,” a statement by his media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu read.
While the passport making the rounds read: “Olybukola Saraki with number 306077175” information obtained on Saraki’s real passport read: “Disc/Info/SARAKI/030915” and signed by C. Emery of Disclosure of Information department of HM Passport Office.
Saraki’s current British passport was issued on June 29, 2006 and will expire on 29 June, 2016. The number of Saraki’s genuine passport was, however, redacted in the letter.
“I can further confirm that the number on the copy of the (forged) passport does not relate to Saraki.”
UK Passport Office however declined to provide detail on who owns the passport number on the published passport saying that it can only disclose such information “upon production of a United Kingdom court order” directing the department to release the information.