By R. Joyclyn Wea
At long last, the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) has with immediate effect deleted A. Ndubusi Nwabudike name from its official roster for holding ‘fake Liberian citizenship.’
The expulsion of Nwabudike is in line with Article II, Section IX of the LNBA Constitution that states; “any member may, after inquiry, be disciplined by means of suspension or expulsion from the membership of the association for proven gross misconduct in his relations to the association or in his professional undertaking upon two-thirds votes of the membership of the national executive council.”
The Bar’s decision to expel the LACC boss was upheld in a vote of two third members of the LNBA Executive Council as well as the Grievance and Ethics Committee Investigation over the LACC boss citizenship saga.
The existence of information during the Bar Grievance and Ethics Committee Probe unveils gross inconsistency in the dates of birth and names, as well as his application to the marriage registry, declared in his own handwriting in 1992 indicating that he is a Nigerian citizen.
Speaking Friday, June 19, 2020, the LNBA President Tiawon Gongloe explained that Nwabudike refused to surrender to the Committee probe despite numerous communications and efforts to have him appear before that body.
On April 6, 2020, Nwabudike responded to the Grievance and Ethics Committee of the LNBA in a communication among other things; he questioned the basis of the investigation, contending that there was no complaint before the LNBA challenging his citizenship.
Nwabudike in that communication further contended that he had not violated any provision of the code of professional ethics governing the conduct of lawyers and that citizenship is given by the Government of Liberia that can challenge or revoke it and not the other way around.
Cllr. Gongloe mentioned that on April 3, 2020, the LIS also wrote informing the committee that it did not have any record on Nwabudike legal residency status or naturalization in Liberia.
And again on April 6, 2020, the committee obtained a clerk certificate from the clerk of the first judicial circuit, criminal assizes “B” informing it that it had no record about the counselor residency or naturalization status.
Documents obtained from the Liberian Senate confirmation hearing of Nwabudike and the pleadings in the record of the civil law court on a petition for declaratory judgment filed by him, committee found the following inconsistent information: a purported certificate or naturalization presented to the Liberian Senate showing that he [Nwabudike] was issued same by criminal Court “B” on May 13, 1982 thus creating doubt.
Cllr. Gongloe continues that perusal of Nwabudike passports shows his birth dates as October 19, 1960, October 2, 1963, October 2, 1965 and October 2, 1969 each bearing A. Nkwuka Ndubuisi Nwabudike, and A. Ndubuisi Nwabudike as well as his nationality as Nigerian..
This, Gongloe mentioned leads the Bar to believe that Cllr. Nwabudike became a member of that legal institution through fraudulent means noting that it is a well-settled common law principle that fraud validates everything.
Subsequently; Cllr. Gongloe said the decision will be shortly communicated to President George Weah, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia as well as the different courts across the country.
Accordingly; the law says only the President and Attorneys General can deport a person. The question now is whether the President is willing or will muster the will power to do so, as the bar do not have the right to suspend or revoke the license of lawyers let alone prevent them from practicing law in the country, a power that is strictly vested in the Supreme Court.
This entire saga is dated in late March of this year when Cllr. Ndubuisi Nwabudike was nominated by the President to chair the National Elections Commission (NEC), but was later withdrew following series of condemnation and tip off that the Liberian Senate was at the edge of rejecting him.
The doubt raised by the senate over the citizenship of Cllr. Nwabudike by extension, casts a very dark cloud over the integrity and credibility of the Liberian National Bar Association and the judiciary in evaluating applicants for admission into the legal profession. The LNBA felt duty bound to investigate and find out what the truth is relative to Cllr. Nwabudike Liberian citizenship.
As a professional body, the LNBA is under a duty at all times to constantly monitor and evaluate the moral and professional conduct of its members based on information acquired through complaints by individuals or through the public. TNR
Alphonso has been in the profession for over twenty years. He has worked for many international media outlets including: West Africa Magazine, Africa Week Magazine, African Observer and did occasional reporting for CNN, BBC World Service, Sunday Times, NPR, Radio Deutchewells, Radio Netherlands. He is the current correspondent for Reuters. Mr. Toweh holds first MA with honors in International Relations and a candidate for second master in International Peace studies and Conflict Resolution.