In his petition before the Civil Law Court, Cllr. Nwabudike complains that since his admission as member of the Supreme Bar as Counsellor – At – Law on 21 June 2002, he has been and continues to be in good standing, serving the LNBA as its Secretary General.
The LNBA expelled Cllr. Nwabudike’s membership on 19 June this year, revealing 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.
Besides, the LNBA said it gathered that Nwabudike’s marriage certificate dated 22 January 1992 filed by himself in handwriting identified him as a Nigerian born 19 October 1960, and not a Liberian, opposed to the New Judiciary Law providing that persons applying for membership to the Bar as Attorney – At – Law must be citizen of Liberia.
In addition to practicing law here, Nwabudike tells the Civil Law Court in his petition that he served the government as chairman of the Good Governance Commission and Liberia Anti – Corruption Commission (LACC) chair, respectively.
However, he tells the Civil Law Court that while he was serving as LACC Chair [in a tenure position which had not expired], he was again nominated as chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC), another tenure position, subject to confirmation by the Liberian Senate.
But Nwabudike notes that during his confirmation hearing for the NEC top job, some senators raised concern about alleged inconsistency of his passport, university records and naturalization certificate which had prolonged his confirmation hearing for which President Weah withdrew the nomination “for reasons not expressed.”
Meanwhile, the LNBA expelled Nwabudike because it said its investigation found that “he became a member of the Liberian National Bar Association through fraudulent means,” and the Bar’s decision followed his controversial Senate confirmation hearing.
Following months of investigation into his Liberian citizenship, the LNBA announced on 19 June this year it discovered at least four different birthdates and four years of births on Nwabudike’s various passports.
Nwabudike says the Grievance and Ethics Committee of the LNBA proceeded with its investigation against him without his participation.
Further, he laments that following the Grievance and Ethics Committee’s investigation, the Bar issued a press release expelling his membership without serving him copies of the findings and conclusion of its investigation. He therefore requests the Civil Law Court to review, correct, set aside and deny and dismiss the decision of the LNBA expelling his membership.
Up to the time of his expulsion from the LNBA Friday, 19 June, the disgraced official continued to chair the LACC, a position reserved for Liberians, despite failing to prove he is a naturalized Liberian during Senate confirmation hearing to chair the 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.
By Winston W. Parley