The Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA) has expelled controversial Nigerian – born A. Ndubuisi Nwabudike, saying its investigation finds that “he became a member of the Liberian National Bar Association through fraudulent means.”
Up to the time of his expulsion from the LNBA Friday, 19 June, the disgraced official continued to chair the Liberia Anti – Corruption Commission (LACC), a position reserved for lawyers, despite failing to prove he is a naturalized Liberian during Senate confirmation hearing 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 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.
Following months of investigation into his Liberian citizenship, the LNBA announced Friday that it’s gathered that Nwabudike’s marriage certificate dated 22 January 1992 filed by himself in handwriting identifies him as a Nigerian born 19 October 1960, and not a Liberian.
Having discovered at least four different birthdates and four years of births on Nwabudike’s various passports, LNBA president Cllr. TiawonGongloe announces that Bar’s Executive Council approved Nwabudike’s expulsion, saying: “His name is hereby stricken from the roster of the membership of the Liberian National Bar Association.”
“This decision will be shortly communicated to the President of the Republic of Liberia, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia as well as, all courts throughout the Republic of Liberia,” Cllr. Gongloe says.
He discloses that the during the investigation, the LNBA’s Grievance and Ethics Committee on 3 April this year obtained from the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) a letter informing the committee that it did not have any record on Cllr.Nwabudike’s legal residency status or naturalization in Liberia.
On 6 April, Cllr. Gongloe says the committee also obtained a clerk certificate from the Criminal Court “B” indicating that it had no record about Cllr. Nwabudike’s residency or naturalization status.
From documents obtained from the Senate confirmation hearings of Cllr. Nwabudike and the pleadings in the record of the Civil Law Court on a petition for declaratory judgment filed by the disgraced official, Cllr. Gongloe details that the committee also found multiple issues that further created doubt.
First, he says the committee found a purported certificate of naturalization presented to the Liberian Senate by Nwabudike showing that he was issued such certificate by the Criminal Court “B” on 13 May 1982, when in fact Court “B” was called the People’s Criminal Court “B” during the regime of the People’s Redemption Council (PRC).
“A perusal of His various passports showed his birth dates as October 19, 1960, October 2, 1963, October 2, 1965 and October 2, 1969,” Cllr. Gongloe says further about Nwabudike.
Besides, the LNBA president notes that Nwabudike’s 2004 Liberian Passport carries his date of birth as October 2, 1963 and his name as A. Nkwuka Nwabudike, instead of the name that appears on the roster of the LNBA which is A. Ndubuisi Nwabudike.
More to that, Cllr. Gongloe explains that Nwabudike’s Liberian National Identification Card carries his date of birth as October 2, 1969 and his name as A. Ndubuisi Nkwukanwabudike, while his marriage certificate dated 22 January 1992 carries his name as A. Ndubuisi Nwabudike as Nigerian national, with birth date as October 19, 1960.
In view of the information received from the LIS and the courts that there is no record to support Nwabudike’s claim of Liberian citizenship and the existence of information showing gross inconsistency in his dates of birth, names and marriage registry, the LNBA says the only valid, logical and common sense conclusion was that Nwabudike became LNBA member through fraudulent means.
By Winston W. Parley