Investigations into the activities of the newly nominated Chairman of the National Elections Commissions (NEC) Cllr.Ndubusi Nwabudike indicate that he’s a naked weapon waiting to explode if confirm to sit at the helm of the nation’s top most integrity institution.
The nomination of Cllr. Nwabudike a self-proclaimed naturalized Liberian by President George Weah will also dent the credibility of future elections under his watch if confirm due to the erosion of public trust in his nomination, this paper has learnt.
Most Liberians are demanding that Cllr. Nwabudike’s nomination be withdrawn due to the growing public mistrust over his credibility for the sake of future elections. They fear a repeated of the 1985 elections which plunged the country in to the over two decades of civil war resulting from this satisfaction over election results.
President Weah on Saturday March 21, 2020 announced the nomination of Cllr. Nwabudike, the self-proclaimed naturalized Liberian to head the NEC, after appointing him to two other high profile positions- Governance Commission and Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission in less than two years.
His nomination to head the NEC has attracted several criticisms from both within the corridors of the very ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) party and opposition alike all bordering on the nominee’s credibility as his past haunts him.
On Friday about 12 Senators walked out of his confirmation hearing after the Senate failed to adhere to their request to make the confirmation hearing public.
Conflict of Interest
This paper gathered that in 2017, Cllr. Nwabudike was a member of the CDC legal team in the Liberty Party challenge of the 2017 elections first round result.
Moreover, in October 2018, during the election of the Liberian National Bar Association in Grand Bassa County, Cllr. Nwabudike served as Chairman of CDC lawyers who are all members of the LNBA. Those who congregated with him includes but not limited to Cllr. Phil Dixon of Ministry of Labor, Cllr. Edward K. Martins, former Montserrado County Attorney, Cllr. Charles Gibson, among others.
In addition, this paper also learned that as head of the Governance Commission, Cllr. Nwabudike drafted the Jordanian agreement and negotiated same, something which many say is an illegal conflict of interest.
Cllr. Nwabudike was said to have prepared the alleged illegal agreement and strategized that if the Liberian Airport Authority (LAA) management was reluctant to sign the agreement, President Weah should use his power to coerce them to sign the agreement despite the manager’s at the time resistance to the contract because it was procured without due diligence.
According to Cllr. Jerome Verdier of the International Justice Group, thealleged Article of Incorporation prepared by the nominee, included the names of nine (9) fictitious individuals as incorporators, without verifying their individual and collective personalities as natural persons of good repute without terrorists’ linkages, forming a corporation in Liberia.
“Cllr. A. Ndubusi Nwabudike is too close to President (George) Weah in a corrupt conspiracy that undermines his public standing and moral integrity to hold such a high office of public trust”, the International Justice Group (IJG) has said. These allegations proves a serious conflict of interest of the nominee and questions his independence on the NEC.
Cllr. Nwabudike naturalization claims questioned
Did he lied?
Cllr. Nwabudike is not a Liberian and is therefore not qualify to sit on the National Elections Commission, claims a source who begs not to be mentioned. Cllr. Nwabudike claims he was born in Nigeria and his parents are from Delta State in Nigeria. This alone questions his claim of a Liberian citizenship and his origin from Montserrado County as he penned on his CV.
Cllr. Ndubusi Nwabudike is not a Liberian and is therefore not qualify to sit on the National Elections Commission (NEC), added another source.
According to Article 25 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic 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.”
Thus since Cllr. Nwabudike was born in Nigeria following the year of independence and both of his parents were citizens of Nigeria, he is a Nigeria citizen by birth.
However, his claim of a Liberian citizenship could hold water if he is in compliance with Article 29 of the Nigeria Constitution,which 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.”
The learned counselor fails to tender any proof that he has renounced his Nigerian citizenship to be able to legally obtain Liberian citizenship in accordance with the aforementioned Nigerian Constitution.
Even the Liberian law states 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).The law requires all certificates of naturalization to be filed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The nominee bags lots of credibility questions
Documents before the Liberian Senate does not contain such proof by Cllr. Nwabudike-both certificates from Nigeria and his Liberian naturalization does not exist, thus punching holes into his claims. The Liberian Constitution does not honor dual citizenship as well, that is if he still holds his Nigerian citizenship.
However, the learned counselor appears to confuse the public more and cast doubt on his own credibility.
He claims in his CV before the Liberian Senate to have been born in 1965 and came to Liberia in 1988 at the age of 23. Our investigation further shows that he acquired his primary, secondary and undergraduate education in Nigeria as a Nigerian student and paid local fees up to his alleged graduation in June 1988, the same year and month he came to Liberia.
In the same June 1988, he claimed to have enrolled at the University of Liberia Graduate School, and graduated in 1990, and later entered the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law. A careful look at his records from the University of Liberia reveals an apparent alteration to his place of birth.
Although he attended the University of Liberia as a local student and paid fees charged to all Liberian students, it raises the questions as to when and how did Cllr. 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.
Cllr. Nwabudike bags a lot of credibility and trust questions especially surrounding the inconsistent accounts he has given to the public and the Liberian Senate about his background.
He indicates on his curriculum vitae that his place of origin is Montserrado County. “Such a blatant lie per se, and thus a crime or perjury. How then would an Igbo man’s origin be Montserrado?” a source roared at his claim.
Liberian history tells us who the aboriginals of Montserrado or Ducorthey are Bassa, Vai and Congo. This raises a question as to where Cllr. Nwabudike belong among these group of people.
This paper can say emphatically that while a person nationality may change, his or her original place of birth can never change.
His claims raises huge eyebrows as to how one whose parents came from Delta State, can originate fromMontserrado County. By Othello B. Garblah