-As the NEC Chairman designate faces Senate Today
The issues of maligned integrity, split loyalty, and opaque neutrality continue to be a point of contention against President George Weah’s controversial nomination of Chairman at the National Elections Commission (NEC), Cllr. Austin Nbudusi Nwabudike — a “naturalized Liberian” with a Nigerian lineage.
Opposition to Cllr. Nwabudike’s appointment and the accompanying criticisms are becoming incessant by the day and seem not to be going away, not anytime soon.
To add what appears to be an insult to injury, a member of the Senate has said that he would prove beyond every reasonable doubt that the NEC pick obtained Liberian citizenship by fraudulent means.
Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon, is slightly shifting from the crux of the barrage of criticisms against the nominee, as they may not bear constitutional backing as being insinuated by proponents of the regime, to a more constitutionally substantive argument—the legitimacy of Cllr. Nwabudike’s naturalization/citizenship.
Speaking on a local radio station over the weekend, Senator Dillon said, “From what I have gathered so far, I want to be convinced that Nwabudike became Liberian citizen fraudulently. And we will endeavor to prove that.”
This means that that the designated NEC Chairman should not only brace himself to face the Senate to justify why he should be considered for the post but to also convince them how he got his citizenship.
The impossibility, according to the Montserrado County Lawmaker, would probably lead to charges of perjury and possible prosecution.
“The law says if it can be proven that one obtained such status through fraudulent means, it can be withdrawn from you and you can be prosecuted for perjury in accordance with the law,” Dillon said, adding that this latest nomination has exposed Cllr. Nwabudike’s fraudulent nature.
“It is my understanding that he took up citizenship in the early 2000s at which time he was already a lawyer and practicing law under our jurisprudence. And if he did that, then he is a dumb Lawyer.
“Nwabudike stated that his father came here 1946 and returned ‘home’ in the 1960s after Nigeria gained independence. How can you say he Went back ‘HOME’ when he had already denounced Nigeria as home and took up Liberian citizenship? He also said he came back to Liberia as a result of the Nigerian civil war, also known as the Biafra war. He again returned to Nigeria in 1971 and did return since.”
He also said When one is nominated, the Senate rules state that the nominee must send his/her Curriculum Vitae (CV) and other relevant documents that represent that individual. Though Cllr. Nwabudike has presented his CV, Senator Dillon said members of that body are yet to see any attachment of his naturalization papers to validate his citizenship status.
“We will be demanding those records so that we can scrutinize them. And if we find out that he obtained our citizenship fraudulently, we will call for his prosecution in addition to denying the NEC top post,” he stated.
“So, for instance, if the evidence can be shown that the subject under discussion benefited from a privilege or right under dubious means, said privilege and right can be withdrawn; and said person can be prosecuted for perjury under the law if the benefit thereof was obtained under Oath,” Dillon said on his social media platform.
Dillon emphasized that he can prove that He said Cllr. Nwabudike’s mother was never a Liberian by any means. “She could not and did not come from Bomi. The stories that his mother hailed from Bomi are totally false and misleading.”
Nwabudike has also not shown proof that his father was a “Naturalised Liberian.” So, it is unsettled yet that he acquired Liberian citizenship under his father’s ALLEGED naturalization. We are waiting for this proof!”
In the argument of natural-born and naturalized citizen at NEC, Dillon said there is no way that logic and good reasoning will agree that a naturalized citizen that should be the one to pronounce a President and Vice President.
Though Weah said during his inauguration that Liberians should not judge him by the eloquence of his speeches but on the quality of the decisions he makes, Dillon said it is unfortunate that the President is poor and inefficient in the singular quality that he boasts of to the Liberian people.
“The quality of most of the decisions that the President is making are terrible. His choices at the NEC are the latest cases in point.
He said all Liberty Party Senators are resolved to vote against the nominee. “This is the position of the party and no one dare go against the will of our beloved Liberty Party.
“Weah and his gangs are already ruthless with the State security apparatuses. He has destroyed the judiciary, the courts,” said the Senator.
“The soul of our democracy is guided by the NEC and the good governance that comes out of our electoral processes. We cannot allow ourselves to travel the wrong path again. And this is why we want to ensure that the right things are done,” Senator Dillon added.
“If we don’t stop this nightmare that is hovering over our NEC and the electoral process, we will be doing this country no good,” he said.
There are arguments that the NEC nominee has previously been confirmed by the Senate, thus, why would he now be rejected?
On the issue of previous confirmation for other posts, Senator Dillon said, “We will save the argument or justification about ‘the man has been confirmed once before by the Senate. Yes, no argument or justification over this. The Senate may have been in error not doing due diligence at the time. Notwithstanding, it does not stop, prohibit, prevent or disallow the Senate from rejecting him now for cause(s) as may be deemed by the very Senate.
“In the practice of law, where there is ‘new discovery’ to act upon a thing already acted upon, a person enjoying a privilege can still be denied or deprived of enjoying the very thing and other such things going forward.”