-But Hopeful Of His Confirmation
President George Weah’s nominee for the chairmanship of the National Elections Committee-NEC, Cllr. A. Ndubusi Nwabudike seems to be in what is believed to be a ‘hard zone’ to cross.
Senators Darius Dillon and Cllr. Varney Sherman believed that the nominee was threading on a dangerous grounds and his chances of being confirmed was slim. “He is in hard zone to cross,” one of them said.
However, when this paper spoke with Senator Sando Johnson of Bomi County via mobile phone, one of those who walked out of the first hearing, said “I will speak after my vote. I will do what the Liberian people want.”
The NEC Chairman designate on Monday was asked about his nationality documents as well as other related documents.
Cllr. Varney Sherman, whom the NEC chairman designate said taught him law at the law school in Liberia, said given the naturalization law, Cllr. Ndubusi Nwabudike was not qualified to head the position.
According to Cllr. Sherman, anyone wishing to naturalize should be 21 years old and above. But Cllr. Ndubusi said he was 17 and had a parental consent, which the law also requires once a person is a minor.
But Cllr. Sherman who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Claims & Petitions, rejected his statement.
However, Cllr. Ndubusi said he was shocked for Cllr. Sherman to say such after he had earlier received a letter of recommendation from Cllr. Sherman to attend a law school program oversea.
“All what he said about me is a blatant, blatant lie. I never gave him any recommendation to any school; you see when he presented his credentials he put the letter of recommendation from Chief Justice, he did not put any letter of recommendation from me; so he is sitting over there quoting a letter of recommendation. Let him show a letter of recommendation from me,” Senator Sherman said.
But the NEC chairman designate said despite all that, he was confident of his confirmation as he was prepared to defend himself and convince the senators.
He added that the law is the law and he would do nothing to violate the law.
He continued: “Cllr. Sherman knows me well. I was his student and I made good grades under him. If I was not a good student I would not have made such grades in his class.”
His former teacher, now senator refuted all what he said. “I was never a member of a committee to set up the Law Reform Committee, I have nothing to do with that; Cllr Felicia Coleman can confirm that, Henry Reed Cooper can also confirm that; I absolutely have nothing to do with that, he and I have never ever worked together before,” Senator Sherman told Legislative reporters.
“If you are not a Liberian citizen and you are allowed to go to the National Elections Commission, our democracy is at risk,” Cllr Sherman warned.
The senators are expected to continue the hearing of the NEC Chairman designate today, April 1, 2020. It is not known what the outcome will be.
In a related development, Deputy Presidential Press Secretary Smith Toby said “President George Weah has played his part in keeping with the Constitution of Liberia it is left with the Liberian Senate to do their part of the job”
He said the coordination and collaboration the constitution talks about is for the legislative, executive and judiciary to be given the opportunity to work as a team.
According to him, the Liberian Legislature and the executive are not fighting or showing supremacy or is the President imposing anyone on the people of Liberia.
He said the coordination in government will continue.
Also speaking on the issue of the NEC Boss designate, Montserrado County District eight lawmaker, Acarous Moses Gray said even if President Weah has appointed Jesus Christ, Liberians will have problems with it.
Moreover, Gray intoned that Liberia is setting a very bad imagine to the outside.
He supports the president nomination and calls on his colleagues from the Liberian Senate to do the honorable thing by confirming the NEC boss designate.
Speaking additionally on the invite extended to members of the political parties to have shown up at the confirmation hearing of the NEC boss, Gray said “there is no law that says that political parties should make import in confirmation of Presidential nominee.”
He said the only position a naturalized citizen cannot occupy according to Article 52 of the 1986 constitution.
He said if the augment by members of the Liberian Senate is anything to go by, than they should do an amendment that will restrict naturalized citizens from not occupying critical positions in Liberia. 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.