The Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA) has amended its motion filed as an intervener to help the Liberian Government’s fight at the Civil Law Court to dismiss a petition filed by Nigerian – born Cllr. Ndubuisi Nwabudike, requesting the court to declare his Liberian citizenship right.
In the LNBA’s amended motion filed at the Civil Law Court Wednesday, 29 April, it insists that the court lacks the legal capacity to determine Nwabudike’s citizenship because citizenship in the Republic of Liberia cannot be determined by the Civil Law Court or any court sitting in its civil division here.
“Movant now files this Amended Motion to dismiss Respondent/Petitioner’s Petition for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction by this Honorable Court on grounds that this Honorable Court cannot exercise any jurisdiction this …,” the LNBA writes.
Other than the Civil Law Court lacking subject matter jurisdiction over nationalization and citizenship of aliens, the LNBA further contends that Nwabudike’s petition should be dismissed because he has shown no rights that have been withdrawn from him either by the government, the LNBA or any other entity here.
Previously the LNBA filed a motion before the Civil Law Court arguing that Cllr. Nwabudike has justified sufficiently that he has never been a citizen of Liberia but rather a fake individual and should not be allowed a day in Liberia to be considered a citizen.
The Bar’s contention was that Cllr. Nwabudike has failed and neglected to prove his citizenship before the House of Senate during his confirmation hearing and up to present, has still failed to do so.
It stated that Nwabudike’s Curriculum Vitae is a product of big fraud, thus recommending that he must be penalized by being prosecuted and deported to his native land, Nigeria by the Attorney General of Liberia consistent with Chapter 21, Section 21.10 of the Alien and Nationality Law of Liberia.
Prior to filing its amended motion on Wednesday, the LNBA had filed another communication dated 29 April, 2020, informing the Civil Law Court of the Bar’s withdrawal of its previous intervener’s returns, motion to dismiss and motion to dismiss, reserving the right to amend [and] refile.
The LNBA reminds the Civil Law Court that the Supreme Court has held over and over that every court, including the Supreme Court, is duty – bound to first determine its jurisdiction over a given matter because where jurisdiction is wanting, every action taken by the court is null and void.
Further, the intervener LNBA says the Alien and Nationality Law of Liberia provides that exclusive jurisdiction to naturalize persons as citizens of Liberia is conferred upon the circuit courts.
In Montserrado County, the LNBA continues, the first judicial circuit shall exercise such jurisdiction, concluding that the Civil Law Court therefore lacks jurisdiction to pass on the nationality of Nwabudike.
The disgraced presidential nominee Cllr. Nwabudike wants the Civil Law Court in Monrovia to declare his citizenship right to enable him continue practicing law here, as lawyers launched a probe into controversies surrounding his Liberian citizenship which recently denied him the privilege to chair the National Elections Commission (NEC).
Having worked at Good Governance Commission (GC), the Nigerian – born Cllr. Nwabudike who insists he naturalized in 1982 as Liberian, was serving a tenure as Liberia Anti – Corruption Commission (LACC) chair when President George Manneh Weah appointed him this year to head the NEC, his third job in less than two years.
Until his nomination by President Weah to chair the NEC, Cllr. Nwabudike’s previous confirmation by the Liberian Senate as LACC chair seemed to have gone smoothly without Liberia’s weak system detecting any issues surrounding how he acquired Liberian citizenship which enabled him to practice law here.
At the Senate hearing for the NEC top job, Nwabudike consented that his passport carries October 2, 1963 while his records at the University of Liberia have October 2, 1965, insisting that he did not have control over what is written about him at UL.
Senators and members of the public were concerned that even after naturalization, Nigerians do not forfeit their Nigerian citizenship until they make a declaration renouncing their Nigerian citizenship, and the president registers such declaration in accordance to Article 29 of Nigeria’s Constitution.
His failure to present to the Liberian Senate an evidence that he had renounced his Nigerian citizenship and to show proof that his declaration had been registered by the president of Nigeria appeared to have given the confirmation hearing a suggestion that he may still be enjoying Nigerian citizenship while he carries a Liberian passport.
By Winston W. Parley