Amid persistent calls by some members of the Liberian Legislature and some members of the general public for the dismissal of the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission executive director Cllr. Ndubuisi Nwabudike, the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs has said that President George Manneh Weah has no legal grounds to dismiss the Nigerian-born LACC boss because the office is a tenure position.
Speaking to The NewDawn recently in Monrovia, Minister Nathaniel F. McGill said there are several cases in court against the President for attempting to dismiss officials who are serving tenure position and the case involving the LACC boss is no exception. He said President Weah has not interest in continuing on this path.
Minister McGill noted that there is argument and counter-argument on the ages on Cllr. Nwabudike’s passport and some documents, and that possibility exists for such error but the matter should be interpreted by the court.
Commenting on the expulsion of Nwabudike by the Liberian National Bar Association for reported ‘fraudulent act’, he described the decision of the Bar as a private case, which outcome is not legal ground for President Weah to act.
“Look, we have cases with Mr. Isaac Jackson and National Lotteries Authority executive director on the same tenure position, so the President will not dismiss the LACC boss until it is proven in court. We cannot continue [doing the] same thing and the court too keeps telling us it is wrong. The President can dismiss anyone who works at the will and pleasure of the President but tenure positions are protected by law and the President will not be violator of the law,” he defended.
But critics wonder when did President Weah realize that tenure positions are not be tempered when he appointed a partisan, Gabriel Nyekan to the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency International (LEITI) as executive director, who took armed Police and forcibly removed his predecessor from office despite the post being a tenure service.
Following few months of legal battle, the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) on June 22, expelled Cllr. Ndubuisi Nwabudike and deleting his name from its record after months of contention about his Liberian citizenship, with fake documents filed on his date of birth.
On July 29, the Executive Mansion through Presidential Press Secretary Isaac Solo Kelgbeh disclosed that it is reserving decision over the citizenship of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission boss until a final ruling by the Supreme Court.
The Nigerian-born claims he is a naturalized Liberian, but documents presented before the Liberian Senate have been described as fraudulent. Recently, Cllr. Nwabudike filed a Writ of Prohibition to the Justice in Chambers at the Supreme Court to prevent his expulsion by the National Bar over his citizenship.
But Associate Justice Jamesetta Howard-Wolokollie last week declined to issue the Writ of Prohibition as prayed for by Cllr. Nwabudike. The legal battle over the citizenship of the LACC head has created mixed feelings amongst some citizens, with some calling for his removal before a final ruling from the High Court.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne