MONROVIA, June 15, The appointment of veteran Liberian female journalist, Mrs. Davidetta Browne Lansanah as head of the National Elections Commission-(NEC) by president George Weah has apparently made Cllr. Austin Ndubusi Nwabudike ‘dream’ of heading such position becoming unsuccessful.
Nwabudike, a Nigerian who told Senate of his Liberian citizenship through naturalization in 1982, was appointed by president Weah to head the NEC. But he was rejected by the Liberian senate after it was established that he lied under oath about his naturalization status.
It even made it more difficult for him after the Liberia Immigration Service, the agency responsible for all naturalization documents in the country said there was no such document on him in their entity.
“The ‘dream’ of Nwabudike to become Chairman for NEC has been shattered. The record he wanted to set, apparently has failed. There is no room for him again,” William Hanson, a student of political science at the University of Liberia told this paper.
Desmond Kolie, a senior student told this paper on phone that ; “we prefer this lady to a Nigerian or to any foreigner to occupy such a top position. What I think needs to be done now for the former NEC nominated chairman, Nwabudike is for him to be arrested for lying under oat.”
Nwabudike gave two dates of birth, 1963, 1964 respectively. The one in his passport carried one of the dates.
After his rejection, he went back to serve as head of the Liberia Anti Commission-LACC, a place he served prior to his appointment as NEC chairman.
There, he came under fire from opposition lawmaker of the Liberty Party, Senator Darious Dillon; that he needed to be removed from there.
Senator Dillon in a communication to the senate drawn the attention of his colleagues to section 6.3 of the Act creating the LACC which calls for only qualified and eligible Liberian citizens to serve on the commission.
Section 6. 3 of the LACC on qualification says “Each member of the commission shall be a Liberian and not less than thirty years of age, of good moral character in the community and with proven records in anticorruption advocacy or professional training and or experience in law, law enforcement, auditing, accounting or related field. The membership of the commission shall also be drawn to reflect the broad spectrum of society; provided further that no two commissioners shall have the same county of origin and all five shall not be of the same gender”
Senator Dillon reminded his colleagues that Nwabudike, a Nigerian by birth has not demonstrated or proven to be a Liberian and manner of acquisition of his Liberian citizenship, as he claimed before members of the Liberian Senate during his confirmation hearing. “Take seize thereof, and ensure that the proper and appropriate measures be taken to uphold, protect and defend the integrity and credibility of the LACC from being abused and violated,” Sen. Dillon calls on his colleagues in the letter.
The rejected NEC Chairman case was further complicated after the National Bar Association-LNBA, the body he is legally a member of, invited him for an investigation. He failed to attend, according to the Secretary General of the LNBA, Cllr. Bobby Livingstone.
The Grievance and Ethics Committee of the LNBA was instructed to probe his nationality issue and other legal matters. “He told the committee that he was observing social distancing inline with the health protocols of Liberia. So, he refused to come over for investigation,” a senior member of the Bar told this paper Monday.
But sources close to Nwabudike said ; “he does not trust some of those on the committee. They are jealous of him and want to publicly disgrace him. So for that reason, he will not go to them.”
When contacted a source close to Nwabudike on a new appointment of Mrs. Lansanah, he said, “I think it is at the will and pleasure of the president. Whomever the president decides to put in there, is okay. The Cllr. does not have anything against anyone who goes to the NEC.”
“From day one, when this man name was mentioned, I told some friends that he was a difficult ‘product’ to be marketed. His name alone will defeat the purpose. But with this appointment of a veteran journalist, it makes it better,” Madam Rebecca Smith, a business lady said.