The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Zabzugu in the Northern Region is in trouble over his alleged dual citizenship.
In what looks similar to the Adamu Dramani Sakande case, the NDC MP, Alhassan Umar, has been sued by two of his constituents for allegedly having dual citizenship from the United States and Ghana.
Adamu Dramani Sakande, after winning the Bawku Central seat on the ticket of the then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2008, was challenged by a cattle farmer called Sumaila Bielbiel on the grounds that the MP held dual citizenship and after a long trial he was sentenced to two years in jail in 2012.
The plaintiffs in the instant case – Nikimola Jacob Makinye and Moponyaw Godwin – want the court to remove Alhaji Alhassan Umar from parliament and declare the seat vacant.
They are seeking a declaration that “the defendant, who owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana, is disqualified from holding the office of Member of Parliament of Zabzugu in the Republic of Ghana.”
The plaintiffs further want an order directed at Alhassan Umar, compelling him to vacate the Zabazugu Constituency seat and an injunction to restrain him from holding himself as MP.
In their statement of claim, the plaintiffs avert that they are farmers who are aware that the NDC MP, who they claim was born on June 29, 1966, was originally Ghanaian but naturalized and became a citizen of the United States on May 31, 2000.
The plaintiffs went ahead to list all the residential addresses used by the NDC MP when he was in the United States, especially in New Jersey and Virginia, and claimed that he even filed for bankruptcy in the United States on November 3, 1999.
“On 3rd November, 2000 the defendant was convicted in the United States of a traffic offence of over-speeding,” the plaintiffs averred, adding that the MP relocated to Ghana about eight years ago and worked at the Ministry of Communications as a management consultant.
“In his application for a service passport to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration on 12th August, 2010, the defendant gave the town of his birthplace as Zabzugu and also confirmed that he had dual Ghana and United States citizenship,” the statement indicated.
According to the plaintiffs, Alhassan Umar’s dual citizenship card is No. 003672 issued on 15th September, 2009 in Accra and added that “he also bears a United States passport.”
“In September 2016 the defendant filed his papers to represent the NDC in the Zabzugu Constituency in the 2016 parliamentary elections,” the statement pointed out, adding, “Plaintiffs say that the defendant failed to disclose on his nomination forms of the Electoral Commission of Ghana that he filed for bankruptcy on 3rd November, 1999 in the United States and also failed to indicate that he had citizenship of another country other than Ghana, ie United States.”
The plaintiffs claim that the information about the defendant’s citizenship came to them recently and that as at the time the NDC MP stood for the election, he was not qualified to do so because he owed allegiance to another country.
They insisted that Alhassan Umar committed perjury since he knew very well that he was not qualified to contest for the office of MP but went ahead to do so.