HOW TO RENOUNCE A NIGERIAN CITIZENSHIP
A citizen is a person who, by place of birth, nationality of one or both parents, or naturalization is granted full rights and responsibilities as a member of a nation or political community, Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines the conditions under which it will recognize persons as its citizens, and the conditions under which that status will be withdrawn.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF A CITIZEN
With reference to chapter 11 section 24 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the responsibilities of the citizens are spelt out as follows:
- Respect for the ideals of the constitution/institutions.
- Respect for National Flag; National Pledge and Legitimate Authority.
- Enhance the power, prestige and good name of Nigeria.
- Respect the dignity of other citizens and their rights.
- Promote the spirit of common brotherhood and good neighbourliness.
- Make positive and useful contributions to the advancement, progress and wellbeing of the community of residence.
- Render assistance to appropriate agencies in the maintenance of law and order. i.e reporting of criminal elements in the society.
RENOUNCING OF NIGERIAN CITIZENSHIP
- 29 (1) 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides as follows:
“Any citizen of Nigeria of full age who wishes to renounce his Nigerian citizenship shall make a declaration in the prescribed manner for the renunciation”
From the above provision of the constitution, one can evidently say that renunciation is a voluntary act of relinquishing one’s citizenship or nationality for another
In Nigeria, despite the fact that S. 28 of the 1999 constitution allows for dual citizenship, on the other hand, it has also limited the same by making a person forfeit his citizenship where it appears that such person is not a citizen by birth and he later acquires or retains the citizenship or nationality of another country other than Nigeria.
- The person must be aged 18 years and above (the exception to a married woman below age 18 (S. 29 (4)(b))
- The person must be of a sound mind
- The person must have acquired or would likely be granted citizenship in another country
- The person has no criminal or financial liability to the state
THE PROCEDURE FOR RENUNCIATION OF CITIZENSHIP IN NIGERIA
- Visit the appropriate authority i.e. the Ministry of the interior, Nigerian immigration service or the Nigerian embassy in the country where the person resides.
- Fill out the application form with complete information which must be signed and certified before a Magistrate or Notary public or Justice of Peace or Commissioner of oath.
- Submit the application form(s) with the following documents:
- Copy of the foreign passport
- Copy of the foreign citizenship certificate or copy of confirmation that the applicant will become a citizen of a foreign country
- Citizenship certificate (if any)
- National Identity card (if any)
- Passport-sized photograph of the applicant
- Nigerian passport or other travelling documents
- Marriage document (for female applicant below age 18)
- Proof of acquisition of citizenship in another country
Its worthy of note that the president reserves the power to withhold the registration of any declaration and renunciation of citizenship during war in which Nigeria is physically involved and where it is in his opinion that such declaration will be contrary to public policy. See S. 29 (3) (a) (b) of the 1999 constitution.
Renouncing citizenship is quite sensitive and should be properly thought over by the person contemplating it.
By Immigration Law Team at Resolution Law Firm