CHIEF of Staff Robson Djokovic who was stripped of his citizenship by the High Court said he would appeal the ruling, which declared him as an indigenous Solomon Islander but not a citizen.
His lawyer Wilson Rano said after the ruling his client could no longer enjoy some of the rights only a citizen can such as register to vote and voting.
“The Court ruled that whilst Djokovic was a citizen when Solomon Islands became independent on 7 July 1978, he had lost that citizenship when he took up Australian citizenship when he went back after his birth,” Rano said.
“Whilst he has taken back his citizenship when he reached the age of 18 years, the Court said he had since lost it again. We think this is a factual error,” Rano said.
Rano added that the Court appears to rely heavily on section 23 of the Constitution.
“That section when it was still effective does not allow any person to hold two citizenship of any two countries. Effectively, the Court argued that when section 23 was repealed by the Dual Citizenship Act it only makes it possible for those who had once lost theirs through surrendering their Solomon Islands to regain it.
“It does not however apply to automatically confer citizenship. To regain it one must apply to regain it,” he added.
Rano said section 23 is much more than that and that is why we are of the view that the Court has fallen short in dealing with it fully.
He said he is still studying the ruling and may consider other actions.
“I can tell you now that I have received instructions to appeal the judgment.
“This is a constitutional issue that not only affects my client but a number of indigenous Solomon Islanders who by virtue of this judgment will enjoy and practice their indigenous rights when it comes to customs and traditions but yet are not Solomon Islanders,” he said.
Rano said that whilst Djokovic had been attacked on various media platforms many of us need to be thankful as he is advocating the rights of indigenous Solomon Islanders.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN BONGIDANI