Know Your Constitution: Part 1 – Section 27 and 28

Know Your Constitution

The 1999 Constitution

SECTION 27 (1)

Subject to the provisions of section 28 of this Constitution, any person who is qualified in
accordance with the provisions of this section may apply to the President for the same of a certificate
of naturalization.

(Based on the contents of section 28 of the 1999 Constitution, whomever wants to be a citizen of Nigeria can apply to the President for a certificate of Naturalization. – A Certificate of Naturalization is granted once a person fulfills the conditions laid down in section 27 (2) of the 1999 Constitution.)


SECTION 27 (2)

No person shall be qualified to apply for the grant of a certificate of naturalization, unless he satisfies the President that –

(Below are the conditions a person who wants to be granted a Certificate of Naturalization must fulfil in order to satisfy the President of Nigeria)


SECTION 27 (2) (a)

he is a person of full age and capacity;

(The person must be of full age and must be seen as being able to apply under the law.)


SECTION 27 (2) (b)

he is a person of good character;

(The person must have good character.)


SECTION 27 (2) (c)

he has shown a clear intention of his desire to be domiciled in Nigeria;

(The person has made it clear that they want to live in Nigeria.)


SECTION 27 (2) (d)

he is, in the opinion of the Governor of the State where he is or he proposes to be resident, acceptable to the local community in which he is to live permanently, and has been assimilated into the way of life of Nigerians in that part of the Federation;

(If, the Governor of the State where the person wish to live in believes that the person has been accepted by the local community that he wants to live in permanently and has adapted into their way of life.)


SECTION 27 (2) (e)

he is a person who has made or is capable of making useful contribution to the advancement; progress and well-being of Nigeria;

(The person who wants to apply for citizenship has made or is capable of helping Nigeria as a country make positive progress in any way whatsoever.)


SECTION 27 (2) (f)

he has taken the Oath of Allegiance prescribed in the Seventh Schedule to this Constitution; and

(The person has taken the Oath swearing loyalty to Nigeria as his new Country. This Oath is contained in the Seventh Schedule of the 1999 Constitution. This can be seen in the link above title – The 1999 Constitution.)


SECTION 27 (2) (g) (i)

he has, immediately preceding the date of his application, either-

resided in Nigeria for a continuous period of fifteen years; or

(Just before applying for a Certificate of Naturalization, the person must have lived in Nigeria for a continuous period of fifteen (15) years.) or


SECTION 27 (2) (g) (ii)

resided in Nigeria continuously for a period of twelve months, and during the period of twenty years immediately preceding that period of twelve months has resided in Nigeria for periods amounting in the aggregate to not less than fifteen years.

(The person must have lived in Nigeria for a continuous period of twelve (12) months and such person, in the space of twenty (20) years, must have lived in Nigeria for a total period of fifteen (15) years.


SECTION 28 (1)

Subject to the other provisions of this section, a person shall forfeit forthwith his Nigerian citizenship if, not being a citizen of Nigeria by birth, he acquires or retains the citizenship or nationality of a country, other than Nigeria, of which he is not a citizen by birth.

(A person who isn’t a citizen of Nigeria or another country by birth and is a citizen of a country other than Nigeria, automatically loses his Nigerian citizenship if such person has been given a Certificate of Citizenship in Nigeria.)


SECTION 28 (2)

Any registration of a person as a citizen of Nigeria or the grant of a certificate of naturalization to a person who is a citizen of a country other than Nigeria at the time of such registration or grant shall, if he is not a citizen by birth of that other country, be conditional upon effective renunciation of the citizenship or nationality of that other country within a period of not more than five months from the date of such registration or grant.

(Any person who registers to be a citizen of Nigeria and at the time such person registers or is granted such Citizenship, the person is a citizen of another Country but not by birth, such person has five (5) months from the day he/she registered or was granted citizenship of Nigeria to renounce his/her citizenship of the other country.)

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