-No Hope Of Him Retaining His Liberian Citizenship
By R. Joyclyn Wea: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cllr. Ndubusi Nwabudike, a Nigerian national who claimed to be a naturalized citizen of Liberia ‘wings’ are said to be ‘clipped’ with little or no hope of him retaining his Liberian citizenship.
The Nigerian has been challenging the Liberia National Bar Association over his expulsion from the Bar for holding ‘fake Liberian citizenship’. He recently took legal flight to the Supreme Court praying the high court to issue a writ of prohibition on the Bar’s decision.
But the Justice-In-Chamber, Associate Justice Jamesetta Wolokollie declined to issue the writ on grounds that the right procedures weren’t followed by Cllr. Nwabudike.
However, it was reported late Tuesday that Cllr. Nwabudike filed a complaint to the Civil Law Court against the Bar’s decision.
Nwabudike came under serious scrutiny when President George Manneh Weah nominated him as Chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC), a decision condemned by Liberians at home and abroad.
The NEC which the Nigerian Lawyer was poised to head if his nomination was confirmed is one of Liberia’s key integrity institutions, charged with the constitutional authority of conducting elections for legislative, presidential and other statutory elected positions in Liberian Government and the Constitution said it should be chaired by a Liberian citizen.
The Liberian leader later reconsidered his decision after it was clear that the Nigerian national would have been rejected by the Liberian Senate as he [Nwabudike] couldn’t authenticate his citizenship. The Nigerian national also lied about his date of birth, as four different essential documents had four different dates of birth.
Following the recalled of his nomination, Nwabudike returned to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), as its chairperson, a position legally reserved for only qualified Liberians according to the Act creating the commission.
This decision has been vehemently rejected by Liberians including Senator Abraham Darius Dillon of Montserrado County. During the confirmation hearing, the ‘fumbling nominee’ claimed he was naturalized as citizen of Liberia at age 17, when the Alien and Nationality law of the country sets the age at 21 years.
The Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) couldn’t get any document of his naturalization. This resulted into the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA), a legal body he has been a member of expelling him, a decision he has since challenged in court.
The LNBA’s President once noted that such lie hangs a dark cloud over the hard-earned integrity of the legal profession in Liberia and it led to the Bar association expelling him.
However, the embattled LACC boss was dealt a major blow again when the Supreme Court decided not to act on his expulsion from the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA).
According to our Judicial Correspondent, the Justice-In-Chamber, Associate Justice Jamesetta Wolokollie, on Friday, July 23, declined to issue an Alternative Writ of Prohibition seeking to prevent Nwabudike’s expulsion from the Bar.
It can be recalled in March of this year, the President of the LNBA, Cllr. Tiawan S. Gongloe, wrote the Bar’s grievance and ethics committee to investigate reports of Cllr. Nwabudike having faked his Liberian citizenship.
Only Liberian citizens (whether native or naturalized) can be admitted to the LNBA. In the case of Nwabudike, who was born in Nigeria to Nigerian parents who migrated to Liberia, he reportedly violated the Bar’s requirements for admission through the use of alleged falsified documents to pose as a naturalized Liberian citizen. This, the LNBA believes, is an ‘egregious ethical transgression’ warranting expulsion.
Liberians and political pundits are now wondering now that the Supreme Court has, in not so many words, endorsed the LNBA’s penalty upon Nwabudike, it remains to be seen whether the President will tell the Nigerian to step aside.
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.