As Supreme Court reverses LNBA’s decision
By Lincoln G. Peters
Liberia’s Supreme Court has suspended disgraced Nigerian – born Cllr. A. Ndubuisi Nwabudike from the practice of law in Liberia for six months, a reverse of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) decision expelling him from the institution to forfeit the rights and privileges that LNBA members are entitled to before courts here.
Speaking for the court Wednesday, 25 August 2021, Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor, Sr., said the LNBA can investigate and sanction its members.
But he said the LNBA is without authority to conclude that a member’s Liberian citizenship was procured through fraud and expel that member from the LNBA to forfeit the rights and privileges that members of the LNBA are entitled to before the courts of the Republic.
“Cllr. A Ndubuisi Nwanbudike is hereby suspended from the practice of law directly or indirectly in Liberia for six (6) months. His fate and status with the LNBA will abide the action of the Attorney General/Minister of Justice,” said Chief Justice Korkpor.
The LNBA expelled Cllr. Nwabudike’s membership on 19 June last year, saying he became a member of the LNBA through fraudulent means. The LNBA revealed to the public that a perusal of his various passports showed his birth dates as October 19, 1960, October 2, 1963, October 2, 1965, and October 2, 1969.
Months ahead of the 2020 senatorial elections, Cllr. Nwabudike, already chairing the Liberia Anti – Corruption Commission (LACC), was again nominated by President George Manneh Weah to chair the National Elections Commission (NEC), a position that sparked the controversies surrounding his citizenship status as Liberian.
During a Senate confirmation hearing, he failed flat to prove that he is a naturalized Liberian, subsequently denying him of the NEC job and causing the LNBA to expel him.
But the Supreme Court’s ruling, Chief Justice Korkpor said the decision taken by the LNBA to remove and eject Cllr. Nwabudike from the practice of law for alleged fraud was tantamount to disbarment, something he said can only be done by the nation’s highest court.
The Chief Justice said the court has given the responsibility to the Ministry of Justice to investigate whether the citizenship of Cllr. Nwabudike was indeed obtained by fraud.
Justice Korkpor disclosed that it will be wrong for Cllr. Nwabudike to continue the practice of law in Liberia when it’s quite clear the documents he filed which necessitated his admission to the practice of law in Liberia are wrapped in inconsistencies and discrepancies.
The court instructed the Ministry of Justice to take seize of the matter, and if deemed appropriate, institute proceedings to revoke and set aside the order admitting Cllr. Nwabudike’s Liberian citizenship and cancels his certificate of naturalization.
On the other hand, the court said if the Attorney General finds that the order admitting the Nwabudike’s Liberian citizenship was issued through a manifest error of the law or fact that can be remedied by procedural means, Cllr. Nwabudike should be allowed a reasonable opportunity to institute corrective proceedings in consonance with the Alien and Nationality Law of Liberia.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/expelled-nwabudike-surfaces-at-court-opening/–Edited by Winston W. Parley