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Did Nwabudike exploit the weakness in our system?

There is a maxim in law that says “what is not done legally, is never done at all. Indeed, beyond all reasonable doubt, Cllr. NdubusiNwabudike has failed to provide proof of his Liberian citizenship-plain and simple.

His documents failed to support his claims, as the numbers and dates provided as his birth dates and time of arrival and naturalization either refused to add up or correspond.
One can imagine, the shame, the disgrace and the complete embarrassment he has brought upon himself and family walking away from the Capitol Building looking rejected and neglected.

At one point, I believe, he felt the entire nation has ganged up against him and that even his own evidences were now turning against him. The grounds were unfair to him as they declined to open under him and put him out of his miseries-that’s the price you pay when you failed to do it legally right.

But come to think of it, our system has not been fair to Cllr. Nwabudike and others like him either-trust me. And don’t get me wrong-Liberia has some of the best laws in the world comparatively with that of the United States of America, I mean since their Constitution was plagiarized to some extend by our forefathers, especially so when the first drafter was a Harvard Law Professor.

So how did our system help Nwabudike to come this far?
Section 17.1 of the Judiciary Law restricts the practice of law in Liberia to only Liberian citizens. That means, Cllr. Nwabudike entered the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law as a Liberian.

So the question now is what sort of documents he presented to the law school. Bear in mind that his accent has never change up to date. Therefore one could imagine how strong it was when he made the enrolment.

Did the University of Liberia takes its time to verify his claim of naturalization then, something that certified that indeed he is a legally naturalized citizen and therefore was qualified to practice law in the country?

Okay, let say the University did not consider this for a man who could one day be appointed Chief Justice of the Republic of Liberia. Yes, every law student or lawyer is a potential future judge and can be promoted to the level of the Chief Justice. The University failed to establish that truly he is a Liberian based on the papers he tendered in.

Could it be the fault of the University alone? The answer is no. Let’s go back a little.

According to the naturalization certificate presented by Cllr. Nwabudike to the Senate hearing Committee on Monday he naturalized as a Liberian in 1982 at the age of 16, arguing that he was accompanied by an adult, something the country’s alien and naturalization law does not allowed-an applicant must be 21.

So, if the claim made by Nwabudike is true and if that is the document he has been using, them our Immigration System has a problem.

That means, the authorities then failed to implement the law accordingly. Further it would beat one imagination as to how a process which requires a two-step approach-that is first making a declaration of intent to naturalize before a Circuit Court, followed by the actual petition for naturalization which must be filed between the second and third anniversary dates of the declaration of intent. So it is either, Nwabudike lied or the system failed him.
Could the Supreme Court done any better?

The Supreme Court of Liberia, whose opinion in admitting Nwabudike to the Bar, the subject now relies also did not help in the situation. It is confusing or difficult to understand how Nwabudike was able to present this same certificate he now parades with to the court and get admitted into the bar.

There are arguments though, that the very Senate has confirmed him for two different positions in Government and therefore asking the questions why now.

From the look of things, the Senate is now trying to correct the mistake the University of Liberia and the Supreme Court made, when someone sitting somewhere gave Nwabudike this flimsy paper, he now holds dearly.

Am strongly convinced there are dozens of immigrants with naturalization papers that are ever more questionable then Nwabudike and they all derived from our system- its highly corrupt and no one cares to ask the hard questions or even read.By Othello B. Garblah

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