LNBA President Gongloe Says
The President of the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA), an umbrella body of all lawyers in the country, has termed as ‘pro-corruption’ the ongoing National Anti-Corruption Conference (NACC), organized by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), thereby asking development partners not to attend it.
Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe said, because the Anti-Corruption Commission Chairperson Nbudusi Nwabudike, himself a lawyer allegedly obtained his Liberian citizenship and so, any conference organized by Nwabudike is a product of corruption, fraud, deception and misrepresentation.
The NACC got underway on yesterday, Wednesday, September 16, at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town.
The exercise, according to Nwabudike, is the fifth phase and the climax in the series of nationwide consultations to address the issue of corruption in Liberia.
He said the idea of the National Anti-Corruption Conference came about as a result of Liberia’s dismal performance over the last three years on the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (CPI).
But, Gongloe said, the LACC under the chairmanship of Nwabudike lacked the legal and moral credentials to fight corruption in the country.
“Nwabudike does not have the requisite credentials to fight corruption in the country, because he is a product of corruption and a person, who obtained his naturalization document under fraud and deception,” Gongloe indicated.
According to Gongloe, the LNBA under his watchful eye will never cooperate with the LACC as long as Nwabudike remains at the helm of that integrity institution.
Gongloe was quick to point out that there are more qualified individuals with integrity at the LACC that can help in the government’s anti-corruption fight, though he did not specifically name anyone.
“There are qualified lawyers and individuals at the LACC that can successfully lead President George Weah’s fight against corruption,” Gongloe noted.
Gongloe also vowed to campaign among Liberia’s development partners and local groups not to support an activity of the LACC under the chairmanship of Nwabudike.
“I am going to lobby with development partners and local partners not to support the LACC because its chairman is a product of corruption,” Gongloe vowed.
Further, Gongloe said, Nwabudike had the temerity to invite the LNBA to attend the ‘pro-corruption’ conference.
“We later instructed the executive director to inform him that we do not recognize his authority to host a conference about tackling corruption, because he himself is a product of corruption and does not have the integrity to fight corruption in our country,” Gongloe said.
Gongloe also used the occasion to call on President George Weah to replace Nwabudike if the President wants to succeed in the fight against corruption.
“How will a government retain such an individual and expect it to succeed in the fight against corruption,” Gongloe wondered.
“President Weah needs to understand that Nwabudike is corrupt and he cannot fight corruption in our country. Who is he going to charge for corruption, when he himself is corrupt?” the LNBA president asked. “Nwabudike is not an agent of change, he is an agent of fraud, deception and misrepresentation and the person that is making the public to lose confidence in the President’s fight against corruption.”
According to the Bar, Nwabudike allegedly failed to honour citations sent to him by the Ethics Committee probing the validity of his citizenship.
The Bar wrote the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) on 3 April, which replied that it had no record on the lawyer’s residency or naturalisation status.
Additionally the Bar pointed that the First Judicial Circuit, Criminal Assizes “B”, Temple of Justice, also wrote the Committee informing it that it had no record of his naturalization status.
On April 6, the Bar indicated that Nwabudike wrote to the committee arguing that his citizenship was given by the Liberian government and it is only the Liberian government that can challenge or revoke it.
He also said the issue of his citizenship was now moot, since the issue was not raised when he was admitted as attorney-at-law and subsequently as counsellor-at-law.
However, scrutiny of Nwabudike’s passports and national documents reflects four different dates of birth.
“His 2004 Liberian Passport carries his date of birth as 2 October 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,” the Bar stressed.
The LNBA also noted that Nwabudike’s Liberian national identification card has 2 October 1969 as his date of birth and his name as A. Ndubuisi Nkwuka Nwabudike, while his application for marriage certificate, dated 22 January 1992, filled in by hand, carries his name as A. Ndubuisi Nwabudike, his date of birth as 19 October 1960 and his nationality as Nigerian.