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The god that cut soap for Wizkid (1)



Tunde Odesola

The god that cut soap for Wizkid (1),

by Tunde Odesola

(Published in The PUNCH, on Friday, September 15, 2023)

This is the citation of Èsù, the Yoruba god of protection, benevolence, chief enforcer and messenger between heaven and earth: Èsù Láàlú, ògiri òkò, onílé kángun kàgun ọ̀nà ọ̀run, jọ̀wọ́ má yọjú s’ọ́rọ̀mi. Èsù Lároóyè, afi àdá olójúméjì tọrọ epo lọ́wọ́ ẹní lépo! Èsù má se mí, ọmọ ẹlòmíì ni o se.

If I successfully translate this panegyric into English word for word and Èsù, in gratitude, offers me his meal of boiled eggs, palm oil, bean cakes, pigeon and corn, placing it at the crossroads where three footpaths meet, I won’t dine with Èsù with the longest of spoons. It’s not that I’m afraid, it’s just that I’m watching my weight and height.

Translation: Èsù Láàlú, rock-solid, the owner of the ramshackle dwelling on the bumpy road to heaven, please, do not meddle in my affairs. Èsù Lároóyè uses a two-edged sword to beg for palm oil from the palm oil owner! Èsù, do not bewitch me, bewitch the child of someone else.

Courage can seize Èsù and make him command his disciples to fight for power, snatch, grab and run with it but inspiration falls like invisible dew on the insightful to birth breathtaking accomplishments.

Inspiration is a major step in the journey to discovery. Inspired in 1974 by the labyrinth that Ojúelégba, a Lagos district, was evolving into, Afrobeat superstar, Felá Aníkúlápó-Kútì, the Abàmì Èdá, reached for his saxophone, slung it over his shoulder and blew evergreen air into it, producing the album titled Confusion.

Forty years after Felá alluded to the higgledy-piggledy nature of Ojúelégba, popularly noted as the ‘paki’ end of the ‘buttie’ Surelere, Grammy award-winning superstar, Wizkid, sang Ojúelégba. Unlike Felá’s Confusion/Ojúelégba, which is a song of protest, Wizkid’s Ojúelégba is a song tracing his humble roots and the struggles of an emerging star. 

In the beautiful song laid on melodious sound, Wizkid sings, “Ni Ojúelégba/They know my story/For Mo’Dogg Studio/I been hustle to work eeh/Ni Ojúelégba ooo/Me and Siddy/For Mo’Dogg Studio/We been hustle work eeh…”. He also hails the endless prayers of his mother, saying, “E kira fun mummy mi/ojojumo la n s’adura…”


Despite his ruthlessness, Èsù was lenient with Felá and had been lenient with Wizkid aka Weezy, together with millions of Nigerians, especially Lagosians, who have been distorting his name for ages.

Ẹlẹ́gbà is another name for Èsù, among the Yórùbá. Though ‘ojú’ popularly means the eye. It also means arena, spot or shrine – like ‘ojúde oba’ or ‘ojúbo’. So, ‘Ojú Ẹlẹ́gbà’ means the Shrine of Ẹlẹ́gbà. And not Ojú Elégba, which means the ‘Arena of the flogger or cane seller’.

While some Yórùbá dialects refer to God as Eledumare or Eledua, some others refer to the Supreme Being as Olodumare. It’s the same case when some Yórùbá dialects refer to Èsù as Ẹlẹ́gbẹ́ra, both Ẹlẹ́gbà and Ẹlẹ́gbẹ́ra mean ‘rescuer’. It’s the Yoruba Bible writers who erroneously named Satan Èsù because of his penchant for mischief. The Yoruba god, Èsù, isn’t the same as the biblical satan. Èsù, in the Yoruba pantheon, is not a fallen angel. He never rebelled.

Aside from Ojúelégba, which is widely mispronounced in Lagos, Agbó-ti-kú-yò, a community in Agege, is another place that’s commonly mispronounced. The correct and full pronunciation is Agbó-ti-èkú-yò. Èkú is the mask/clothing of the masquerader. Indigenous Agege residents are reputed for celebrating masquerade festivals with masquerade groves widespread in the community. So, Agbó-ti-èkú-yò means someone happy to wear the masquerade. The masquerade is the mask or clothing or èkú, and the wearer of the masquerade is the masquerader.

Also, the seat of power in Lagos State, commonly referred to as Aláúsá, is wrongly pronounced. The right pronunciation is Aláùsá, the place or owner of walnut – because the area was formerly a walnut plantation.

Though the mind is the incubator of inspiration, it’s not wrong to say that the eureka of inspiration can be shouted in the strangest of places. A few days ago, I was having a telephone chat with a former colleague and retired popular broadcaster of the Osun State Broadcasting Corporation, Osogbo, Osun State, Folasade Odunlade, whom I’ve not seen in about a decade. “Tunde, Nigeria ma ti wa le gan,” she started in her unmistakable voice, going on to lament the level of insecurity nationwide. “Nowhere is safe o…,” she continued before she suddenly groaned in pain, “Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah! Iya Yetunde! Ah…,” I was alarmed. I thought her house was under attack. “Sade! Sade! Sade! Ki lo n sele!? The phone went dead.

I continued to call until she picked up. “Kilo sele, Sade?” I asked. It’s mama Wizkid?” “Mama Wizkid?”, do you know her? “Yes, I do,” she responded. “I’ve seen the news of her death earlier in the day, I’m sorry. It’s good that she witnessed the stardom of her son,” I consoled.

Sade wailed, “Sometime ago, she was ill but she recovered after treatment abroad. Her death caught me totally unawares. Our paths crossed around 2001/2002 when she was working at the National Commission for Museums and Monuments office located inside the Ataoja Palace, Osogbo. I was working at the OSBC. She was a Christian, though her husband is a Muslim. I had a shop, SIMAK Frozen Turkey and Chicken, beside Olive Branches Schools, Oke-Fia, Osogbo; she lived with her uncle, Baba Senjobi, a hotelier, next to my shop.


“She was always going to Lagos every weekend because her husband and children were living in Lagos. We gisted almost every evening. She paid me visits at work while I paid her visits, too. In fact, she was the one who made me visit the Osun Osogbo Grove for the first time because I was initially afraid.”

Sade said the mother of three girls and one boy (Wizkid/lastborn) later got a transfer back to Lagos and they lost contact afterwards. 

She explained that after she retired from OSBC, she took up the job of Special Assistant to the then Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Lasun Yussuff, in 2015.

“Iya Yetunde linked up with me in June 2015 before I became an SA to the deputy speaker. I didn’t know her son was the world-famous Wizkid. She was the one always looking for me. She found me and we continued with our friendship. She told me her son bought a car for her and that she went to church with it, and it was stolen at the church. She didn’t disclose Wizkid’s name then. I just thought it was just any other vehicle. And she didn’t specify the type.

“It was later when I discovered that Wizkid is her son that I restricted her visits to me because I was afraid she might be kidnapped, but she was so free, unassuming and humble. One time, I imported a popular poundo yam brand. The consignment was huge and I couldn’t sell them off on my own; she would come in her brand new Landcruiser and pack the poundo yam from my Magodo residence to Oyingbo, to help me sell them to Iya Alimi and other traders. I would have been in deep financial trouble if she didn’t help me sell the poundo yam off, using her own contacts. If she had a party, she would send her driver to come pick me up, and we would go together,” she said.

To be continued.

Email:; Facebook: @Tunde Odesola; X: @Tunde_Odesola.

. Published in The PUNCH, on Friday, September 15, 2023.


The god that cut soap for Wizkid (2)



Tunde Odesola
The god that cut soap for Wizkid (2)
Tunde Odesola
There’s no god-like mother, orisa bi iya kosi. A praying mother for that matter. Eyes shut wide in her bowed head, brow sweats as bosom heaves up and down while tongue speaks in supplication for her offspring to grow in wisdom, blossom in understanding, blow in success, live in health and enjoy the good life. The prayer of a mother.
Father is the mirror, baba ni digi. He’s also the unsung hero. The overworked engine. Father prays, too. But his prayers are short and practical, they are against real threats. His prayers are more physical than metaphysical.
May God hearken to the prayers of every parent on their children. The more bad the child does, the harder the parents pray. May the joy of every parent on their children not be cut short by destiny killers, like naira and kobo flogged the destiny of MohBad to death with the koboko of drugs.
It’s good. Nigerian youths are rising across the states, demanding a probe into the death of MohBad, the youngster and songster whose star dropped off the sky into the sea on noonday, a few days ago. Like many Nigerians, I know the nation’s music industry is a haven of hard drugs, but the fast-spreading #justiceformohbad movement, however, should curb the power of life and death wielded by barons, producers and record label owners. Though death has stopped Ilerioluwa Aloba aka MohBad and his promise, the awareness created by the #justiceformohbad movement will set many up-and-coming musicians enslaved to music labels free. Rest in peace, MohBad Ìmólè!
Oak grows from acorn. Mighty grows from mite. A casual telephone call to a former colleague, Folasade, inspired this article. I was touched by the good-naturedness of Wizkid’s mother, who stayed connected to her humble beginnings. As Folasade recounted her moments with Iya Yetunde, I saw her influence in the musical works of her son.
If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it, goes a popular catchphrase. Nigeria, her youth and music industry are fast becoming broken like the rickety bicycle of the village drunk nicknamed Keke baje o seto. Nigeria needs to fix the menace of drugs. I wonder how Iya Yetunde would have felt at MohBad’s death. Like the caring mother she was, I guess she would have been shattered.
A testimony that her prayers on Wizkid were being answered manifested when her only son flew her to Dubai about three years ago for a medical checkup.
Folasade recalls, “Iya Yetunde wasn’t sick from COVID. She went to Dubai for a checkup in the heat of the COVID pandemic. Because she and her husband were very close, they went together. When she was through with her checkup, she flew back home with her husband. When they landed in Nigeria, Wizkid told their driver to bring them to his two-storey mansion in Lekki because he wanted his mother to have adequate rest. He knew friends and well-wishers would throng his father’s Surulere home if his parents went there from the airport.
“But Wizkid’s tactic failed because Iya Yetunde was a golden fish. Family and friends still thronged Wizkid’s Lekki home, and the privacy he sought for his parents became a mirage. After some days, Wizkid bought another house in Lekki, where he moved to, leaving the sprawling two-storey house for his parents. They never moved back to Surulere. She gave me a room on the middle floor where I slept when I visited while she and her husband stayed on the topmost floor. The house has a swimming pool.”
Recounting another act of kindness by Wizkid’s mother, Folasade said when Iya Yetunde visited her in Abuja, she (Folasade) cooked a pot of soup and told her to help give it to her (Folasade) son, Akinola, who was seconded by Accenture to MTN.
“My son was then working in Accenture but he was outsourced to MTN. So, when Iya Yetunde was going back to Lagos after a visit, I told her to help give my son the pot of soup I cooked. She asked me why would I want her to take a soup from Abuja to Lagos. She said she couldn’t take it. But she got the phone number of my son.
“A day later, my son called to ask if I told Iya Yetunde he was having a birthday party. I asked him why. He said she stormed his office with different kinds of dishes enough to host a wedding reception. My son said he had to share part of the various dishes with his colleagues. That was when I knew Iya Yetunde was also a caterer. In fact, she catered for MTN and other big multinationals. When I asked her why she was still into catering despite her son’s success, she said catering was her hobby, and that she didn’t want to be idle. After this, she regularly cooked for my son,” Folasade said.
Folasade, who disclosed that Iya Yetunde was quite older than her, also shared another display of humility by her. “One day, she came visiting in Abuja. She had an afternoon flight to catch and I had to go out in the morning. So, I took her to a friend’s house to stay till the afternoon because I didn’t want her to feel lonely. My friend, Aunty Funmilola, was an ex-caterer with the OSBC, she owned a school in Abuja. When we got to Aunty Funmilola’s house, I called her aside and told her to help me take adequate care of Iya Yetunde. I said she was Wizkid’s mom. She said Wizkid ko, Wizkad ni; she thought I was joking. I didn’t press it. I just left Iya Yetunde in her care and went away.
“Aunty Funmilola collected her number it was during their subsequent telephone discussions that she got to know I was saying the truth. Iya Yetunde never threw her weight around. She was honest, kind, sincere, humble and very down-to-earth.
If there are only two Nigerian Afrobeat stars who love their mothers and are proud to show it, Wizkid is one of them. The love he has for his mom shines through in the various songs and verses he dedicated to her. The song ‘Ayo’ is a special dedication to her. Also, he recorded ‘Jaiye Jaiye’ in her honour, featuring Afrobeats legend, Femi Kuti. Wizkid referenced her in ‘Pakuru Mo’ and some other songs.
Iya Yetunde never dissuaded Wizkid from doing music, she gave her blessing and support, praying, guiding and hoping he turns out well. And Wizkid didn’t disappoint her. Wherever she is now, I think she’s happy. Ayodeji omo Balogun showered his mother with love and affection as if he knew her time was petering out. My heart-felt sympathy goes to Wizkid’s dad, Alhaji Balogun, Wizkid’s elder sisters, family and relatives.
Adieu, Iya Yetunde, the god that cut soap for Wizkid.

The god that cut soap for Wizkid (2)

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The lies of Wole Soyinka by Casmir Igbokwe



The lies of Wole Soyinka by Casmir Igbokwe

PROFESSOR Wole Soyinka is Nigeria’s elder statesman of international repute. As the first and only Nobel laureate in literature from Nigeria, his comments or actions draw global attention. Hence, he is supposed to weigh what he says and does at every point in time. Unfortunately, his recent comments, especially with regard to the February 25, 2023 presidential election, present him in the mould of an elder who stays in an open place to defecate, thereby leaving his private part as a thing of ridicule for children to point at.

Speaking last Wednesday in South Africa at an event titled, “The Lives of Wole Soyinka – A Dialogue”, the 1986 Nobel laureate said Labour Party (LP) knew its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, did not win the presidential election but was trying to force a lie on Nigerians that Obi won. As he put it, “I can say categorically that Peter Obi’s party came third not even second and the leadership knew it but they want to do what we call in Yoruba ‘gbajue’, that is force of lies.”

Soyinka further accused the LP of taking over the organised labour movement and turning it into a regional party and all such nonsense. He claimed the LP attempted to send young people into the streets to protest against the outcome of the election on the banner of lies and deceit.

This is not the first time Soyinka would challenge supporters of the LP and its presidential candidate, Mr Obi, to a wrestling match. Last March, he berated the party’s vice-presidential candidate, Yusuf Datti-Ahmed, for saying that Nigeria had no President-elect and that Tinubu should not be sworn in because he did not meet the requirements of the law. He also attacked Obi’s supporters popularly known as the Obidients, describing them as fascists. The Obidient movement fired their own missiles. Obi later visited the elder statesman and called for a ceasefire.

So, why did Soyinka decide to resurrect this quarrel? What has Obi or the LP done to him? How could he have accused the LP of attempting to mobilise young people to protest when it is obvious that most Nigerian youths are angry at the turn of events in the country and defer to nobody, not even Peter Obi?


Of course, LP couldn’t have kept quiet about the allegations against it. Soyinka, it said, exhibited dual character of someone who might be blinded by some chauvinistic tendencies. In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, the party said Soyinka might have said what he said based on information made available to him by those who shared the ‘Emilokan sentiment’. “It is most befuddling as well as disconcerting that a detribalized and activist Soyinka would succumb to the groupthink syndrome that subscribes to State Capture by those belonging to the criminal fringe by any means, based on primordial considerations,” the LP said.

In any case, it is fallacious for Soyinka to categorically say that LP did not win the election. To the best of my knowledge, the Nobel laureate does not work in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He was not a returning officer anywhere during the election. He is a mere spectator like many of us who rely on the information dished out in the public domain to make our comments.

Besides, how did Soyinka in his wisdom come to the conclusion that LP turned the labour movement into a regional party? Party of which region, if one may ask? Did it become a regional party because its presidential candidate, Obi, is Igbo? Or, because the majority of the South-East people voted for it? South-East has been voting en masse for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before now. Why didn’t Soyinka call the PDP a regional party then? And why didn’t he call the All Progressives Congress (APC) which has overwhelming support from the South-West a regional party?

One thing is clear: No matter whatever anybody does or says, the truth, like the moon, can never be covered by any human hand. No matter what the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT) says, the truth remains that the so-called victory of President Bola Tinubu in the last presidential election is highly contentious. The PEPT simply affirmed his victory with a stamp of technicalities. It failed to dispense justice which it had sworn to deliver. There wouldn’t have been any problem if Tinubu won the election fair and square. Some of us would have congratulated him and prayed for his success in piloting the affairs of Nigeria.


But, he first sent some danger signals by urging his supporters to snatch power, grab it and run with it. His supporters did exactly as instructed. I don’t need to recount what happened in some parts of the country, especially in Lagos and Rivers States, in the name of election. The margin with which Tinubu purportedly won the election is even marginal. If the election was not rigged, it is possible that Obi would have won. Though he won in Lagos, he was denied substantial number of votes his supporters gave him. His supporters were intimidated, harassed, attacked and some of them even killed simply for coming out to exercise their franchise. Also, some markets populated mainly by the Igbo in Lagos were vandalized because the traders purportedly voted against the ruling party in the presidential election.

INEC worsened the problem with its partisanship. It transmitted election results electronically for the National Assembly election held same day, but could not do so for the presidential election. It came up with all manner of cock and bull stories, culminating in the surreptitious announcement of the result in the wee hours of March 1, 2023.

A credible observer like the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM) said it all when it issued its report on the election. According to the group, “The election exposed enduring systemic weaknesses and therefore signal a need for further legal and operational reforms to enhance transparency, inclusiveness and accountability.” Some ruling party agents attacked the report. But it is the gospel truth. The EU-EOM has no reason to lie about the election. If it was after money like some local observers, it would have supported the APC because that is the party with humongous war chest.

In all we do, let us remember that our democracy suffers when we continue to live a life of lies, intimidation and alienation of a substantial part of our populace. We may think that nothing will happen. We may continue to gloat and make merry that we have snatched power and will rule for as long as we wish. But man can only plan for today. Tomorrow is pregnant. What it will bear wears a hat.

I have simple advice for our Nobel laureate: As a man on top of a palm tree, he should stop polluting the air and putting flies in great confusion. A beautiful face does not deserve to be pinched. He is Nigeria’s beautiful bride. He should refrain from actions that will taint his name and paint him as a regional or tribal champion. –

The lies of Wole Soyinka by Casmir Igbokwe

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PEPT’s verdict and the task before the Supreme Court – Farooq Kperogi



PEPT’s verdict and the task before the Supreme Court – Farooq Kperogi

I finally got a chance to read the verdict of the Presidential Elections Petitions Tribunal. Being completely emotionally uninvested in the outcome of the last presidential election (because on the issues that really matter— such as subsidies for the poor—Bola Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar, and Peter Obi are indistinguishable), most of the tribunal’s judgment was unsurprising.

Because the conduct of elections in Nigeria are typically shambolic and inept, as with everything else in the country, I think it’s valid to question the credibility of electoral outcomes. It’s equally legitimate to suspect the independence of the judges who hand out verdicts, including the current one, more so that the first certified true copies of the judgment that circulated in the public sphere had a header that read “Tinubu Presidential Legal Team.”

In any case, in an August 29, 2020, column titled “Aso Rock Cabal’s Judicial Cabal on Election Petitions,” I exposed confidential information that a high court judge shared with me about the sodding moral hideousness of electoral tribunal judgements. The judge said there was a cabal of judicial bandits in Buhari’s Aso Rock who wrote election tribunal judgements.

“The actual writing of the judgments is usually done by a consortium of justices and legal practitioners,” I wrote. “This subversion of justice by a conclave is a low-risk-high-reward undertaking. Members of the judicial cabal are routinely compensated with promotion and financial reward.” So, it isn’t far-fetched to accuse judges of the PEPT of wheeler dealing.

Nonetheless, no neutral, independent-minded person would fail to see that Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi had really weak cases. If a judicial cabal wrote the PEPT judgement, Atiku and Obi made the job easy for the cabal.

The centerpiece of the electoral petitions against Tinubu’s victory was that Tinubu should be disqualified from running for the last presidential election because of a whole bunch of things they alleged against him, most of which revolved around questions of his irrefutable moral turpitude. Unfortunately, immorality isn’t always illegality.


The petitions were high on emotions, conjectures, moral posturing, grandstanding, logical absurdities (such as insisting that candidates must win 25 percent of the FCT to win a presidential election thereby making Abuja more important than every part of Nigeria, that Tinubu should be disqualified for a voluntary civil forfeiture of drug money in the US more than three decades ago, that Tinubu should be disqualified because of false and ignorant claims that he didn’t graduate from Chicago State University, or for perjuries he committed more than 20 years ago, etc.) than on legally sound, substantive arguments about the election itself.

They didn’t present foolproof, unimpeachable evidentiary facts, like Atiku did in 2019, to show that their actual votes were higher than INEC gave them—and thereby higher than Tinubu’s actual votes. Wishful thinking, online bullying, tendentious accounts of events, and coarse, primitive, illiterate invective against people who have different opinions are not substitutes for substance. Neither are mass delusion and blind political cultism guarantees of electoral victory.

The evidence for electoral irregularities they presented to the tribunal were, for the most part, inept, tangential, weak, and easily disputable. Plus, they are also guilty of these irregularities in their own areas of popularity. It isn’t enough to allege; you should prove your allegations beyond all shadows of doubt, beyond merely providing libidinal raw materials for the wet dreams of your worshipful supporters.

You don’t need to be a lawyer to know that the petitions had not a snowball’s chance in hell of upending Tinubu’s victory. Only self-indulgent, illusory hope would dispose people to expect to get anything out of the petitions.

Obi’s wildly Trumpian dissimulation is the most mystifying for me. It beats me how, with a narrow electoral focus, he thought he won a “mandate” that was “stolen” and how he could somehow have been declared the winner of an election in which he finished third without first asking the tribunal to invalidate the votes of the second-place finisher. By what logic would the tribunal have declared Obi the winner without first nullifying Atiku’s votes, which Obi didn’t ask for in his petition?

In other words, the petitions weren’t as much about the vote as they were about who Tinubu was and wasn’t (most of which made more moral than legal sense) and why Tinubu should be disqualified, and a rerun ordered that would exclude Tinubu. That doesn’t strike me as a serious challenge.

The petitions are predictably heading to the Supreme Court where they will get a final legal burial. But I am glad that the appeals will help get us legal closure on two thorny issues once and for all: the electoral worth of the Federal Capital Territory and the intent of the framers of the 1999 constitution when they barred dual citizens from running for elective positions.

It’s apparent to anyone with even a basic understanding of the English language that the constitution merely regards the FCT as equivalent to a state for the purpose of determining the geographic spread of votes cast during a presidential election. It would be absurd for the constitution to confer supernumerary electoral value to the votes of the residents of the FCT by requiring that winning 25% of votes there is a precondition to be declared president.


It makes neither logical, linguistic, nor political sense to isolate a small part of a whole and arbitrarily elevate its electoral value above others. The verdict of the Supreme Court will bury this nonsense forever.

The tribunal’s ruling on the challenge to Tinubu’s alleged dual citizenship is its worst, and I hope the Supreme Court will give us clarity on it. Sometime last year, I had an impassioned dialogic exchange about dual citizenship with a newspaper editor who has a law degree. It was from him I first became aware that I had been misinformed about the issue.

Full disclosure: I am a dual citizen of Nigeria and the United States. I thought I could never run for an elective office in Nigeria, but wondered why former Senate President Ahmed Lawan, former House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, former Senate President Bukola Saraki, and several others who are dual citizens held elective offices.

Well, it has turned out that there are preexisting court judgments that basically say dual citizenship is disqualifying only if Nigerian citizenship is acquired through naturalization.

In a 2004 case between Dr. Willie Ogebide and Mr. Arigbe Osula, for example, Justice Walter Onnoghen held that “… it is clear and I, hereby, hold that the acquisition of dual citizenship by a Nigerian per se is not a ground for disqualification for election… particularly where the Nigerian citizen is a citizen by birth. That is the clear meaning of the provisions in sections 66(1) and 28 of the 1999 constitution when taken together.

“The only Nigerian citizen disqualified by the said sections is one who is a citizen of Nigeria by either registration or naturalization, who subsequently acquires the citizenship of another country in addition to his Nigerian citizenship…”

Similarly, in 2022, Justice Oghohorie ruled that the dual citizenship of Cross River State deputy governor Peter Odey didn’t invalidate his eligibility to run for office because his Nigerian citizenship was acquired at birth.

However, in spite of these precedents, the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt invalidated the candidature of Rivers State APC governorship candidate Tonye Cole on account of dual citizenship. Our courts obviously have no respect for precedents, but I hope the ruling of the Supreme Court on the matter will establish once and for all whether people who were born Nigerian but acquired another citizenship later in life are disqualified from running for elective offices.

Of course, it would also be reassuring if the Supreme Court grants legal protection to the technological safeguards that INEC spent billions to acquire in order to assure voters that it would run a credible poll but whose use the tribunal said was optional and discretionary.

PEPT’s verdict and the task before the Supreme Court – Farooq Kperogi

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