By Reuben Sei Waylaun
MONROVIA-The woes of ‘embattled’ Chairman of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) is said to be reawaken as members of the Liberian Senate have rolled up their sleeves to ensure he is removed from the integrity institution because of questionable nationality.
It can be recalled the ‘embattled Chairman’ of the LACC was expelled from the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) over failure to authenticate his claims of Liberian citizenship which he said to have acquired in the early 1980s.
In March of 2020, the President of the LNBA, Cllr. Tiawon S. Gongloe wrote the Bar Grievance and Ethics Committee to investigate reports of Cllr. Nwabudike having faked his Liberian citizenship. Only Liberian citizens (whether native or naturalized) can be admitted to the LNBA.
During the Liberian Senate confirmation hearing of Ndubusi Nwabudike after his nomination by President George Weah to head the National Elections Commission as Chairman, he provided conflicting information about his Liberian nationality.
During the hearing, Nwabudike, a Nigerian by birth revealed that he obtained Liberian citizenship at age 17, though the Liberian Constitution only provides such status at the age of 21.
At the time, the senators said he also lied about his date of birth, as four different essential documents had four different dates of birth. These embarrassing revelations, the Liberian Senate noted that it hangs a dark cloud over the hard-earned integrity of the Senate and it was impossible to confirm him.
Nwabudike was later sent to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission as its chairman by President Weah without the consent of the plenary of the Liberian Senate. His current position is exclusively set aside for only Liberians according to the Act creating the LACC.
It was during the rigmaroles that the Liberian Legislature was taking its annual break. But upon its return, members of the Liberian Senate have renewed their calls for the removal of Nwabudike from all public services in the country.
Opening the debate on Thursday January 21, 2020 during the regular session of the Senate, Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon recounted that in June 2020, the issue of Ndubusi Nwabudike was before that august body to make a decision.
Senator Dillon warned his colleagues that if decision is not taken against Nwabudike, the Liberian people will not forgive them [Senators]. He further added: “This body confirmed Nwabudike to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission. In my view, there was no sufficient information. But today we have information to take a position. The executive says the court of law hasn’t determined that Nwabudike is not a citizen of Liberia. The Minister of Justice challenged Nwabudike that he is not aware of his citizenship of Liberia.”
“The leadership of this body has not only failed, refused, but it has neglected to act on this issue. He is a non-Liberian and it’s clearly demonstrated and the executive says we have lawyers in this senate and we confirmed him. We have new discovery that Nwabudike passed through this door that he is not a Liberian,” he reminded his colleagues.
The President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate and a stalwart of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Albert T. Chie said: “The Liberian Senate is not moved by emotions and it is determining the matter and will get back to the plenary when it is determined. This is a legal matter.”
However, Senators Daniel Naatehn, Jonathan Kaipay, Jonathan BoyeCharles Sogbie, Milton Teahjay, Steve Zargo, Commany Wesseh and Prince Yormie Johnson all endorsed the concerns from Senator Dillon that the LACC boss be immediately removed from all public services within the country. :
After over thirty minutes of deliberations, a motion was filed by Senator Jonathan Kaipay of Grand Bassa County for the leadership of the Liberian Senate to report to plenary on next Thursday January 28, 2021 which will lead to a decision against Nwabudike.