Section 25 and 26 of the 1999 Constitution: Who is a Citizen?

Who is a Citizen?

The 1999 Constitution

Section 25 (1)

The following persons are citizens of Nigeria by birth-namely-

(The people mentioned below are citizens of Nigeria by their birth)


Section 25 (1) (a)

every person born in Nigeria before the date of independence, either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents belongs or belonged to a community indigenous to Nigeria;

(Any person who was born in Nigeria before the day Nigeria gained independence (that is, before 1st October, 1960), if either their parents or grandparents were members of a community that is or was native to Nigeria that person can be said to be a citizen of Nigeria by birth.)

Provided that a person shall not become a citizen of Nigeria by virtue of this section if neither of his parents nor any of his grandparents was born in Nigeria.

(However, a person whose parents or grandparents were not born in Nigeria cannot be said to be a citizen of Nigeria under this particular section.)


Section 25 (1) (b)

every person born in Nigeria after the date of independence either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents is a citizen of Nigeria; and

(Every person who was born in Nigeria after the day Nigeria gained independence if either their parents or grandparents are citizens of Nigeria that person can be said to be a citizen of Nigeria by birth.)


Section 25 (1) (c)

every person born outside Nigeria either of whose parents is a citizen of Nigeria.

(Every person born outside Nigeria and whose parents are citizens of Nigeria can be said to be a citizen of Nigeria by birth.)


Section 25 (2)

In this section, “the date of independence” means the 1st day of October 1960.

(The day Nigeria gained independence is on the 1st of October, 1960.)


Section 26 (1)

Subject to the provisions of section 28 of this Constitution, a person to whom the provisions of this section apply may be registered as a citizen of Nigeria, if the President is satisfied that –

(Based on what Section 28 of the Constitution says, a person may be granted Nigerian citizenship if the President of Nigeria is satisfied of the following;)


Section 26 (1) (a)

he is a person of good character;

(That the person has good character.)


Section 26 (1) (b)

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

(That the person has clearly shown that he/she want to live in Nigeria.)


Section 26 (1) (c)

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

(That the person has taken an Oath of Allegiance (this means that the person has sworn to be a loyal and patriotic citizen of Nigeria). The Oath of Allegiance is prescribed in the Seventh Schedule of the 1999 Constitution.

(The various schedules can be found after the last Section of the 1999 Constitution. A link to the 1999 Constitution can be found above.)


Section 26 (2)

the provisions of this section shall apply to-

(The contents of this section shall apply to;)


Section 26 (2) (a)

any woman who is or has been married to a citizen of Nigeria; or

(Any woman who is not a citizen of Nigeria but is married to someone who is a citizen of Nigeria)


Section 26 (2) (b)

every person of full age and capacity born outside Nigeria any of whose grandparents is a citizen of Nigeria.

(Any person who is considered by Nigerian law to be of full age and capacity and is born outside Nigeria but either his/her grandfather or grandmother is a citizen of Nigeria.)

Section 27 & 28 of the 1999 Constitution

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