MONROVIA-The President of the Republic, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah has accepted the resignation of Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission’s Chairperson, Cllr. A. Ndubusi Nwabudike. An Executive Mansion statement release said onTuesday.
“The Liberian Leader received the resignation and thanked the LACC’s Boss for his service to the Country,” the statement said.
Cllr. Nwabudike’s resignation takes effect as of February 26, 2021. He was appointed LACC’s Chairperson in October 2019 having previously served as the Governance Commission’s Chairperson in 2018.
In the letter of resignation dated January 27, 2021, Counselor Nwabudike’s thanked President Weah for affording him the opportunity to serve his Country.
“The monumental progress made by the Government in the fight against corruption, both in the public and private sectors, is being marred by public debate of my person rather than what contribution I can make towards the economic development of our country”, Cllr. Nwabudike said in his letter of resignation.
Continuing, the LACC’s outgoing Executive Chairman said, “it does not serve the overall strategic interest of your government and our people if I were to constitute a distraction from the national agenda that your government is poised to deliver to our people in the next three years of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).”
As part of his service to Liberia, he worked with and led a five-member team comprising counselors and prominent Liberians on a Special Presidential Committee to examine allegations made by Global Witness in its report involving the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL). Before this, he also served as “Special Investigator” looking into the usage and misappropriations of donor funds in the agriculture sector (Ministry of Agriculture) 2017.
Dr. Weah received the letter of resignation from Cllr. Nwabudike on Monday, February 1, 2021.
It can be recalled The Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) expelled Nwabudike, from forming part of the Bar and deleting his name from its record after months of contention regarding his Liberian citizenship, with fake documents filed on his date of birth.
“The purpose of this press engagement is for the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA) to inform the Liberian people through the press about its findings and decision on the critical issue of the Liberian citizenship of Cllr. A. Nbudusi Nwabudike and his controversial membership of the Liberian National Bar Association,” Cllr. Tiawan S. Gongloe, President of the LNBA said at a presser at the weekend.
He added: “You will recall that during the Senate confirmation hearings of Cllr. A. Nbudusi Nwabudike for the position of Chairman of the National Elections Commission, the issue of the validity of his Liberian citizenship was brought into question and his woeful failure to convince members of the Senate, dominated the hearing and became the single reason for his outright rejection by the Senate and subsequent withdrawal of his nomination by the President of Liberia.
Therefore, the National Executive Council of the Liberian National Bar met and mandated the President of the LNBA to instruct the Grievance and Ethics Committee to launch a full scale investigation into this matter.
Cllr. Gongloe noted that “the LNBA wishes to emphasize that the legal profession is unique among the professions in Liberia because it is the only profession that is given protection by the constitution of Liberia.
On April 3, 2020, the Liberian Immigration Service wrote a letter informing the Grievance and Ethics Committee ofthe LNBA that it did not have any record on Cllr. Nwabudike legal residency status or naturalization in Liberia.
On April 6, 2020, the Committee obtained a clerk certificate from the Clerk of the First Judicial Circuit, Criminal Assizes “B” at the Temple of Justice, revealing that it had no record on Cllr. Nwabudike’s residency or naturalization status, Gongloe said
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 him, the Grievance and Ethics Committee found the following inconsistent information, Clr. Gongloe explained.
He said a purported certificate of naturalization presented to the Liberian Senate by Cllr. Nwabudike showed that he was issued same by Criminal Court “B” at the Temple of Justice on May 13, 1982, when in fact that court was called the People’s Criminal Court “B” during the regime of the People’s Redemption Council (PRC), thereby creating more doubt.
The LNBA president narrated 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.
Gongloe said the expelled individual’s 2004 Liberian Passport carries his date of birth as October 2, 1963 and his name as A. Nkwuka Ndubuisi Nwabudike, instead of the name that appears on the roster of the Liberian National Bar Association and Supreme Court Bar which is A. Ndubuisi Nwabudike;
His Liberian National Identification card carries his date of birth as October 2, 1969 and his name as A. Ndubuisi Nkwuka Nwabudike.
But his application for marriage certificate dated January 22, 1992, filled by himself in handwriting, carries his name as A. Ndubuisi Nwabudike, while his date of birth is October 19, 1960 and his nationality as Nigerian.
In view of the information received from the Liberia Immigration Service and First Judicial Circuit, Criminal Assizes “B” there is no record to support Cllr. Nwabudike’s claim ofLiberian citizenship, the existence of information showing gross inconsistency in his date of birth and names, as well as, the fact that in his application to the Marriage Registry, he declared in his own handwriting in 1992 that he is a Nigerian Citizen.
Cllr. Gongloe observed that the only valid, logical and common sense conclusion that could be reached by the Grievance and Ethics Committee was that he became a member of the Liberian National Bar Association through fraudulent means.
Adding, “It is a well-settled common law principle that fraud vitiates everything.”
The committee, Gongloe said, therefore, recommended that Cllr. A. Nbudusi Nwabudike be expelled, consistent with Article II Section IX of the Constitution of the LNBA, which provides, “Any member may, after inquiry, be disciplined by means of suspension or expulsion from membership of the Association for proven gross misconduct in his relations to the Association or in his professional undertaking upon two thirds votes of the Membership of the National Executive Council.”
“At a meeting of the National Executive Council held at 3:00 P.M. on May 18, 2020 here at the headquarters of the Liberian National Bar Association, the Grievance and Ethics Committee’s recommendation that Cllr. A. Nbudusi Nwabudike be expelled was approved by a vote of two thirds members of the National Executive Council of the Liberian National Bar Association.
“Hence, Cllr. A. N. Nwabudike is hereby expelled from the membership of the Liberian National Bar Association. His name is hereby stricken from the roster of the membership of the Liberian National Bar Association.
Cllr. Nwabudike is the current chairman of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, who was nominated by Liberian President George Weah a few months ago to head the National Elections Commission (NEC).
Cllr. Nwabudike’s nomination by the Liberian leader, President George Manneh Weah, as Chairman of the National Elections Commission, sparked serious concerns, with many calling on the Liberian leader to withdraw his nomination from the Senate.
Senator Abraham Darius Dillon of Montserrado County called for the intervention of the Liberian Senate in getting Cllr. Ndubuisi Nwabudike out of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) over controversies surrounding his Liberian citizenship.
Senator Dillon, wrote the Senate’s Plenary, indicating that Part IV Section 6.3 of the Act creating the LACC requires that only citizens of Liberia are eligible to serve as Commissioner of the anti-graft institution.
Senator Dillon said “Nwabudike, as Chairman, does not meet the criteria. We hold strongly that Mr. Ndubuisi Nwabudike, a Citizen of Nigeria by birth, has not demonstrated or proven to be a Liberian.
Dillon pointed out that his communication was intended to formally invite the intervention of the Senate over the issue of “grave national concern,” noting that his colleagues should take the proper and appropriate measure to uphold, protect, and defend the integrity and credibility of LACC.
“Therefore, the LNBA is under a moral obligation and degree of integrity and credibility to prove to the people of Liberia that the legal profession is worthy of this unique protection, because as the saying goes, ‘to whom much is given, much is expected’, Cllr. Gongloe stated.
He stressed that “the LNBA, therefore, could not ignore the issue of the citizenship status of one of its members when information provided by him created doubt over the authenticity and veracity of his claim of Liberian citizenship.”
In order to ensure that the investigation was thorough and meticulous, Gongloe narrated that the LNBA acted within the confines of legal speed by exhausting all means possible to provide Cllr Nwadudike his right to due process.
Meanwhile, Cllr Nwadudike expulsion by the LNBA means he is barred from the practice of law in Liberia.
In recent times, he there has been mounting pressures from civil society groups and other groups calling for his dismissal or resignation.