We must be clear, a naturalized Liberian – whether from Nigeria, Ghana, or America and Italy (Negro or Negro descent) –can serve on the National Elections Commission of Liberia. However, the case of Mr. Ndubusi Nwabudike is completely different, he is not a naturalized Liberian!
Mr. Nwabudike claims he was born in Nigeria and his parents are from Delta State in Nigeria. Cf. Frontpage Africa March 27, 2020 online story written by Lennart Dodoo:https://frontpageafricaonline.com/front-slider/liberian-senate-conducts-confirmation-hearing-today-on-the-controversial-appointment-of-nigerian-born-liberia-as-chairman-of-elections-commission/. This statement alone affirms that he is a Nigerian citizen. “Every person born in Nigeria after the date of independence either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents is a citizen of Nigeria.” Article 25 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Because Mr. Nwabudike was born in Nigeria after the date of independence and both of his parents were citizens of Nigeria, he is a Nigeria citizen by birth. Id.
There exist credibility and trust issues surrounding the inconsistent accounts that Mr. Nwabudike has given to the public and the Liberian Senate about his background. He has indicated on his curriculum vitae that his place of origin is Montserrado County.Such a blatant lieper se,and thus a crime or perjury. How then would an Igbo man’s origin be Montserrado? I hope the Senate would ask Cllr. Nwabudike about this very strange history account. Our history tells us who the aboriginals of Montserrado or Ducor – is Nwabudike a Bassa man or Vai, or a Congo or Americo-Liberian too? While one nationality may change, no one origin and or birth place ever changed. For instance, President Weah’s origin is Grand Kru County, being a resident and Senator for Montserrado County has never changed that fact; Saah Joseph’s origin will always remain Lofa County.
Your parents came from Delta State, but your origin is Montserrado County. Really? Making up imaginary stories is not something easy for anyone, including Cllr. Nwabudike. If I wereNwabudike I had better stay quiet than seeking public attention and thus causing self-embarrassment.
An investigation conducted reveals that his claim of Liberian citizenship is unsupported by law. His storyis poorly designed, and the inconsistencies are obvious. With all the doubts, Mr. Nwabudike now bears the ultimate burden to prove his Liberian citizenship. Practicing law,obtaining a voter’s registration card or holding any previous positions set aside fora Liberian citizen, are not proof of citizenship under the law. One may use any of these scenarios as a“presumption” of his or her citizenship. This is true because our laws say so – a Certificate of Naturalization is legally required. Section 21.7 of the Alien and Naturalization Law. Hence, such certificate must be issued to in accordance with law to be good.
Our law provides that, “[a] person admitted to citizenship by a court … shall be entitled upon such admission to receive from the clerk of such court a certificate of naturalization, which shall contain substantially the following information: Number of petition for naturalization; number of certificate of naturalization, date of naturalization; name, signature, place of residence, autographed photograph, and personal description of the naturalized person, including age, sex, marital status, and country of former nationality; title, venue, and location of the court issuing the order of naturalization; statement that the court, having found that the petitioner intends to reside permanently in Liberia, and has complied in all respects with all of the applicable provisions of the naturalization laws of Liberia, and was entitled to be admitted as a citizen of Liberia thereupon ordered that the petitioner be admitted as a citizen of Liberia; attestation of the clerk of the court issuing the order of naturalization, and seal of the court.” Section 21.7 of the Alien and Naturalization Law (1973). We are also keen to note that the law requires all certificates of naturalization to be filed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Hence, if Cllr. Nwabudike had naturalized as he claimed, there would be a duplicate copy of his certificate. It is plain and simple that he is not a Liberian.
It is highly probable that Cllr. Nwabudike has misled the Liberian National Bar Association and the Supreme Court of Liberia by making false declarations to be admitted to practice law, and the Elections Commission to have voted in elections. Our law writers anticipated such conduct, thus there are legal and ethical ramifications for any violation that may have occurred –including prosecution or disbarment in the instant case.
It must be pointed out that Cllr. Nwabudike has tacitly admittedto his citizenship and allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, when he informed us that he was born in Nigeriaand his both parents are from the Delta State. He is still a Nigeria citizen pursuant to Article 25 of the Constitution of Nigeria. “Every person born in Nigeria after the date of independence either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents is a citizen of Nigeria. Because Mr. Nwabudike was born in Nigeria after the date of independence and both of hisparents were citizens of Nigeria, he is a Nigeria citizen by birth. Id.
Also, Cllr. Nwabudikefails to tenderany proof that he has renounced his Nigerian citizenship to be able to legally obtain Liberian citizenship. Article 29 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigerian states that “[a]ny citizen of Nigeria of full age who wishes to renounce his Nigerian citizenship shall make a declaration in the prescribed manner for the renunciation. The President shall cause the declaration to be registered and upon such registration, the person who made the declaration shall cease to be a citizen of Nigeria.”It is imperative to further point out that Cllr. Nwabudike cannot simultaneously carry both Nigerian and Liberian citizenships.
He claims that he was born in 1965 and came to Liberia in 1988 at the age of 23. Our investigation further shows that he has acquired his primary, secondary and undergraduateeducation in Nigeria as a Nigerian student and paid local fees up to his alleged graduation in June 1988. In the same June 1988, he enrolled at the University of Liberia Graduate School, and graduated in 1990, and later entered the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law. A careful perusalof his records from the University of Liberia reveals an apparent alteration to his place of birth. While it must also be noted that he attended the University of Liberia as a local student and paid fees charged to all Liberian students. This brings us to the next question when and how did Mr. Nwabudike acquire his Liberian citizen in June of 1988 and the very same month and year he is said to have graduated from a Nigerian University as a Nigerian student. He is not a Liberian, otherwise he has the burden.
Again, attending the University of Liberia and paying local fees is not a proof of citizenship. It is our considered opinion that Cllr. Nwabudike’s claim of Liberian citizenship is an obvious lie. Because it was not possible to have obtained Liberian citizenship without renouncing his Nigerian citizenship consistent with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria quoted hereinabove.
Cllr. Nwabudike,theflabbergasted nominee to head NEC hasmade frantic efforts to throw a catchall basket to establish his citizenshipat all costs – unfortunately, the basket leaks. In another account of his imaginary story, he also claimed that he became a Liberia citizenthrough his father’s purported naturalization in the 1940s. Yet he has not offered his father’s certificate of naturalization, but instead tends to usea flimsy war excuse. Clearly, he has made no efforts to search for his or his father alleged certificates of naturalization because none exist. The evidence in this case would be Cllr. Nwabudike’s certificate of naturalization and nothing more.
Assuming his father had naturalized in the 1940s, under the Liberian Naturalization law that does not make Cllr. Nwabudike an automatic citizen, because he has not chosenLiberia over Nigerian as his nationality since he turned 21. He has not renounced his allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeriaas provided for under Nigerian law. Under our law, it is only permissible that a childenjoys dual nationality before s/he turns 21 – provided one parent was a Liberia citizen at the time of the child’s birth. Because Cllr. Nwabudike has clearly admitted that both his parents are from Delta State this exception does not apply to him.
For the sake of argument, let us agree that his father was a naturalized Liberian, thus his father has forfeited that status before Nwabudike was born, because his father had returned to Nigeria, his country of origin, and stayed more than two consecutive years.Therefore, Mr. Nwabudike could not have acquired his purported citizenship through his father. He is not a Liberia citizen; otherwise, he has that burden. Thank God Cllr. Nwabudike has given us more facts to use. To become a Liberian, Cllr. Nwabudike must renounce his Nigeria citizenship, which he still holds.
It is evident that he continues to beat our system, but his nomination to NEC is the dawning of the new day. Ninety-nine days for rogues one day for the master. What was not done legally,is never done at all. Our institutions like the Liberian National Bar Association and the Court must muster the courage to correct this blunder. Understandably, he deceived everyone, including the Liberian Senate that previously confirmed him. As for the Bar and the Court, Nwabudike’s conducts warrant disbarment, because making false declarations during Bar admission process is a cogent basis for disbarment and subsequent prosecution; as for the Government, Cllr. Nwabudike needs to be prosecuted and deported, and the Senate must reject him!
Additionally, it is not feasible that he is on the NEC commission, because his inclusion has the proclivityto undermine public trust in any electoral process andwould further dent the credibility of any elections and results.
Mr. Nwabudike is not in good standing with the Liberian National Bar Associationfor years. He faces several corruption allegations. TO TRUST SUCH A MAN WITH OUR ELECTIONS, IS LIKE TRUSTING A GOAT WITH CASSAVA LEAF. FRANKLY, PRESIDENT DISAPPOINTS AGAIN BY THIS NOMINATION.