LACC’s Progress ‘Marred by Public Debate of My Person’

The embattled Chairman of the LACC, Cllr. Augustine Ndubusi Nwabudike

— Nwabudike explains amid resignation

The ally, Cllr. Ndubuisi Nwabudike, who yesterday resigned his post as chairperson of LACC, has been plagued by ethical problem ever since he President Weah nominated him to head the National Elections Commission last year.

Although the Senate rejected his nomination on grounds that he acquired Liberian citizenship illegally, he had been staying on the LACC jobs due to the favour of the President despite been unfix to holding such position per Part IV Section 6.3 of the Act creating the LACC , which limited the chairperson position to only Liberian.

The President, whose decision to prioritize Nwabudike was observed in the public with suspicion, recalled the NEC nomination, but allow him to continue to serve as LACC chair in the midst of huge public outcry for his removal.

Since then, the Liberia National Bar Association has delisted him due to his actions to acquire Liberian citizenship “fraudulent” and that he alone has multiple birthdays

Support of the President argued that the allegations or rejections of Nwabudike, was based on xenophobia motives and the man should have not be denied his right since he has proven his Liberia citizenship.

But critics and the larger public dispels just argued based on the fact that Criminal Court ‘B’ and Liberian Immigration Service could not find any document authenticate Cllr. Nwabudike’s citizenship claims despite thorough search of their records, which could not produce any single piece of document on his legal residence status or naturalization.

After months of pressure, which had an increase in recent days, particularly from the President’s allies in the senate, his hand was forced to secretly require Nwabudike’s resignation.

According to an Executive Mansion release, President Weah has accepted the LACC chairperson resignation after he had submitted a letter informing the President of his decision to leave the anti-graft institutions.

In his acceptance speech, President Weah did not mentioned the citizenship sage rather “thanked him for his services to Liberia£ even though his Minister of Justice last year  filed a return on behalf of the government challenging the embattled LACC boss filed a petition for declaratory judgment from the court about his citizenship.

In his letter of resignation, dated January 27, 2021, Cllr. Nwabudike thanked President Weah for affording him the opportunity to serve in his government.

“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.

He added, “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).”

Cllr. Nwabudike is expected to use the next few weeks to prepare a proper handover note for his successor. His resignation takes effect as of February 26, 2021.

While the President ally may have found an easy ride for his first job, his nomination at NEC brought him unprecedented grilling by the Senate, the opposition bloc, Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee, and former Liberian Ambassador to the UN, Lewis Brown, called on the President to withdraw the nomination.

In a published open letter addressed to President Weah, former Foreign Minister Madam Olubanke-King Akerere opposed the nomination of Cllr Nwabudike. “Thus the imperatives of being a Liberian born to hold such a position that determines election results should prove paramount, even if the law does not spell it out explicitly as such,” King Akerele.

And just a week students ago, the University of Liberia marched to the LACC office near Congo Town to demand the resignation of Mr. Nwabudike. Even though the LNBA, the umbrella organization governing legal practitioners in Liberia, had Nwabudike expelled of its membership, a case that is still pending in the Supreme Court.

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