The Liberia National Bar Association or (LNBA) mandates its Grievance, and Ethics committee to probe the citizenship and other claims by the controversial chairman-designate of the National Elections Commission Cllr. NdubuisiNwabudike before the Liberian senate.
“The National Executive Council of the LNBA has mandated its grievance and ethics committee to expeditiously conduct an investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding the issues being raised about the citizenship of Cllr. NdubuisiNwabudike”, reads a press statement issued by the LNBA Tuesday, April 1.
The release says the decision for an investigation into claims made by the NEC Chairman-designate is to verify whether or not, he met the requirements of becoming a citizen of Liberia and provide a clarification to the public, or proceed with appropriate legal steps if a contrary conclusion is reached by the LNBA.
The Bar maintains that while it acknowledges it is the President’s exclusive power to nominate officials to steer the affairs of the NEC pursuant to Section 2.1 of the New Elections Law (1986) and in the exercise of his presidential power under the Constitution of Liberia, said power should be exercised in promoting and maintaining peace, progress and prosperity in Liberia.
It particularly encourages the Senate to exercise its constitutional power of giving consent to ensure that each nominee meets the requirements of the law.
In addition to the statutory requirements for appointing officials of Government, the LNBA says it strongly believes a vetting process based on the experience and integrity of each nominee would be in line with the letter, spirit and intent of the Constitution and statutory laws of Liberia.
“The Bar believes that elections, peace, and socioeconomic development are inseparable. So, it is no doubt that NEC is regarded as one of the most important vehicles in achieving sustainable peace and constitutional democracy in Liberia.”
It notes that the success of any democratic election must begin with amassing public trust and attaining credibility, in the electoral system and those who are appointed as stewards of the elections system.
At the same time the Bar points that public discontentment, apprehension and outcry and protestations from several members of political parties, civil society groups and the public at large that have eclipsed the nomination and confirmation process of the NEC Commissioners-designate.
“The Bar herby advises the government to ensure that the citizenry have trust in NEC, so as to have an assurance that their will, when expressed at any election conducted NEC, will be reflected through a transparent, and credible process, thus affecting Article 1 of the Constitution, which provides that “the people shall have the right to cause their public servants to leave office and to fill vacancies by regular elections…”
It specifically calls on the Senate to ensure that Section 2.3 of the New Elections Law (1986) which provides that only Liberian citizens having good moral character are eligible for appointment as commissioners of the NEC, is met by the appointees.
The release however cautions that any confirmation, appointment and commissioning of any of the nominees that would violate both the New Election Law and the Constitution is likely to cause chaos.
The LNBA at the same time assures the Liberian people that, as the general counsel of the Liberian nation, it will continue to perform its role in advocating for and ensuring adherence to the rule of law by all branches of government and the people of Liberia.