‘Supreme Court Should Uphold LNBA’s Expulsion of Cllr. Nwabudike’

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Cllr. Jonathan Massaquoi (pictured) disagrees with Cllr. Bank's 'expert witness' testimony.

-A Supreme Court lawyer, Cllr. Massaquoi, pleads

Counselor Jonathan T. Massaquoi, a recognized Supreme Court lawyer, is pleading with the high court to uphold the Liberian National Bar Association’s (LNBA) decision to expel Ndubusi Nwabudike, the Executive Chairman of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission.  Nwabudike was recently expelled from the Bar’s membership of what was found to be his fraudulent acquisition of Liberian citizenship.

Earlier, lawyers representing  Counselor Nbudusi Nwabudike, who was expelled by the LNBA, have pleaded with the Supreme Court for a Writ of Prohibition to be issued against his (Nwabudike’s) expulsion by the bar, claiming that the decision is illegal and it should be reversed by the court.

Prohibition is an order from a superior court to a lower court or tribunal, directing the judge and the parties to cease the litigation because the lower court does not have proper jurisdiction to determine the matters before it.

Addressing Journalists at his Broad Street office, Cllr. Jonathan T. Massaquoi, a member of the Supreme Court bar, said justices of the High Court over the years have advised the LNBA to take drastic action against lawyers that are involved with ethical transgression in line with its by-law and constitution, to ensure the dignity of the bar is respected.

Cllr. Massaquoi likewise quoted retired Associate Justice Philip A.Z. Banks who, according to him, said that, “The Supreme Court does not expect the bar to sit to allow its members that are involved with ethical transgression without protecting the integrity of the legal profession.”

Cllr. Massaquoi said with the submission of Cllr. Nwabudike’s request that is before the Supreme Court, it is now time for the high court to actualize its advice as regards ethical transgression by members of the bar and subsequent punishment.

“The Justices now need to know that this was their advice to the bar, and so the bar had acted by expelling Cllr. Nwabudike’s membership from the association because of unethical behavior that had brought our noble institution to public disrepute,” Cllr. Massaquoi said. He added that the bar is not in error to have acted in line with its constitution to expel Cllr. Nwabudike.

“Cllr. Nwabudike was accorded due process, but he refused to attend to so many invitations extended to him by the bar to enable him to clarify his Liberian citizenship. Cllr. Nwabudike missed the opportunity,” Cllr. Massaquoi noted.

Reflecting on the Supreme Court’s suspension of former ECOWAS Court Judge, Justice Micah Wilkins Wright, after revoking his license for 12 months for ethical transgression in Liberia, which led to Justice Wright’s removal by the Justices of the ECOWAS Court, Cllr. Massaquoi said, though the Supreme Court by then never had jurisdiction over the removal of Justice Wright, the ECCOWAS Court was compelled to support the Supreme Court’s action.

“This is the same scenario with the LNBA’s expulsion of Cllr. Nwabudike and the Supreme Court should follow the action by the ECOWAS Court,” Cllr. Massaquoi pleaded. “If the Supreme Court can suspend Justice Wright, who they had no jurisdiction over and he was removed from the ECOWAS Court, then they should do the same with the LNBA’s action,” the supreme court lawyer contended.

It can be recalled that, while reading the association’s decision, Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe, President of the Liberian Bar Association, said: “There is no record at Criminal Court ‘B’ to support his Liberian citizenship claim; therefore, the committee recommended that he should be expelled consistent with Article 11 Section IX of the Constitution of the Liberian National Bar Association.” The article provides that: “Any member may, after inquiry, be disciplined by means of suspension or expulsion from the membership of the association for proven gross misconduct in his relations with the association or in his professional undertaking upon two-third votes of the membership of the National Executive Council.”

The controversy arose over Cllr. Nwabudike’s Liberian citizenship after he was nominated by President George Weah to serve as Chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC), with Nwabudike failing to convince members of the Senate of his citizenship, thereby causing President Weah to withdraw his nomination and keep him as Executive Chairman of the LACC, the position for which he was earlier confirmed by the Senate. Given that, Gongloe explained, the Grievance and Ethics Committee’s recommendation that Cllr. Nwabudike is expelled was approved by a vote of two-third members of the executive committee.

“Hence he is hereby expelled from the membership of the LNBA. His name is hereby stricken from the roster of the membership of the LNBA.” According to Gongloe, the decision of Cllr. Nwabudike’s expulsion was to be shortly communicated to the President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and Chief Justice Francis Korkpor of the Supreme Court as well as all courts throughout the Republic of Liberia.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Jonathan Massaquoi, you are another disappointment, embarrassment, and disgrace, within the legal profession in Liberia. Most of you need some form of additional schooling in the discipline of law.

    According to the Liberian Constitution, it is ONLY THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH which may, could, or can, challenge Nwabudikeś or anyoneś citizenship!!!

    And never ever the LNBA, anyone, nor any other entity on earth! And such challenge by the given government or the given Executive Branch may, could, or can, ONLY be made in court!

    The legal phenomenon or dictate of “STANDING” prohibits and makes impossible any other entity to dare make any such (CITIZENSHIP) challenge in court!

    Not to talk about after the Supreme Court within its SOLE Articles 65 and 66 jurisdiction HAVE MADE JUDGMENT ON NWABUDIKEŚ LIBERIAN CITIZENSHIP THAT CLLR. A.NDUBUISI NWABUDIKE IS A BONA FIDE LIBERIAN CITIZEN!

    And this is why even a senior member of the LNBA Cllr. Amara Sheriff warned very stupid Tiawen Gongloe and that their mob-like LNBAŚ National Executive in these articulations infra:

    “Minutes after LNBA announced the expulsion of Mr. Nwabudike, a senior member of the bar, Cllr. Aamara Sheriff, described the decision as ‘illegal’ and that it undermines the earlier judgment (Opinon) of the Supreme Court conferring the counselorship of Nwabudike, which, according to Sheriff, solidified his citizenship.

    “No one organization’s law is above the judgment of the Supreme Court,” Cllr. Sheriff claimed, “The court had declared Nwabudike citizenship. Who is the bar to revoke his admission as Counselor-At-Law?” Sheriff wondered.

    “The bar cannot undo what the highest court had legally done and they cannot ask the court to withdraw its opinion,” Sheriff added.

    “Nobody can interfere with the Supreme Court’s exercise of its constitutional powers, and from assuming any functions that are exclusively entrusted to it. It does not, however, allow the LNBA to review its opinion,”

    • Listen up people ! Listen up ! Mr. True Nationalist of the CDC has written this: ” According to the Liberian constitution, it is ONLY THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH which may, could, or can challenge Nwabudikes or anyone’s CITIZENSHIP !!! Unbelievable !!! But listen up people, the citizenship of this Nigerian nightmare created by the very Executive Branch was CHALLENGED IN THE PEOPLE’S HOUSE OF LAWS ! And on the very floor of the LIBERIAN SENATE !!!!!!!!! . Let this blah blah blah blah of a Lying CDC Nationalist returned to the Dark Gola Forest where he actually belongs for the good of the nation and its constitutional laws. Fake constitutional lawyers are at every street corner of the neighborhoods under the regime of George. And here’s one right in your neighborhood. This fake constitutional lying CDC lawyer has forgotten about the oversight Responsibility of the People’s House of laws over every political institutions in that country !!!

      • James Davis, probably it was our inadvertent omission of the word “COURT” at the end of the sentence or assertion which confused you. But get this again: According to the Liberian constitution, it is ONLY THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH which may, could, or can challenge Nwabudikes or anyone’s CITIZENSHIP IN COURT !!!

        But once the Supreme Court has made its decision, and ipso facto such action has rendered this matter a RES JUDICATA, not even the Executive Branch can challenge that judgment on citizenship in court.

        What happened in the Senate during the seeming rejection by the Senate, and the subsequent withdrawal by the Presidency, were a mere political process which had no ligament to litigation or judicial challenge in court!

        The “legislative oversight” rights or powers can only be made applicable in this matter FOLLOWING A REWRITE (amendment, referendum) OF THE GIVEN CITIZENSHIP LAW OR LAWS BY THE LEGISLATURE TO OVERRIDE THE SUPREME COURTŚ JUDGMENT OR INTERPRETATION on that matter or the given law.

        This is inter alia why you see neither the Executive Branch, nor even the Senate sees any relevance in this silly mob-like disposition on the part of the LNBA behaving as cowardly or insane impersonators.

        Hence, know ye henceforth and forthwith, and let all those who have ears hear henceforth and forthwith, that THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE STANDING TO SUE relates to the need for real controversy. Groups or individuals seeking judicial review MUST show that a situation adversely affects their legal rights in a personal way.

        They (eg. LNBA, PEM-PEM ASSO.ETC) cannot sue nor seek judicial review in the general interest of the given community, Rather, they must show that the governmental action or court action (eg. Supreme Court judgment on Nwabudikeś citizenship) they want to challenge in court injures them personally.

      • Look, James Davis, as we intimated to you earlier on, that OUT OF COURT Senateś Committeeś “challenge” of Nwabudikeś citizenship had or has absolutely no effect on the resolve and judgment of The Supreme Courtś decision or judgment that Nwabudike is a bona fide citizen of Liberia. The challenge we are referring to is A CHALLENGE IN COURT.

        Again, with the exception of the Liberian Government, NO PERSON NOR ENTITY HAS THE “STANDING” TO CHALLENGE NWABUDIKEŚ CITIZENSHIP IN COURT! Not even the Executive Branch after the resolve of the Supreme Court as far as the constitutional principles of the separations of powers are concerned!

        What happened on the Senateś floor viz that confirmation/nomination/vetting process was normatively a political process; since absolutely no significant affirmative constitutional compulsion exists or existed to confirm or withdraw any presidential nominee!

        Such process has absolutely no judicial challenge nor litigation challenge. The process or mechanism is simply of a political nature and character.

        And this is precisely why from time in memorial, and from all extrapolations, and as can be envisaged through eternity, the overriding political power of the Liberian Presidency will continue to confine the senateś actual role in the nomination/confirmation process to its current status; where, in almost all cases, the President shall have his or her way viz his or her choice of appointment.

        Nevertheless, since there is no constitutional legal compulsion on the Senate or the presidency dictating rejection, confirmation, or withdrawal, it is totally lackadaisical and absolutely baseless for some associational group (eg. the LNBA OR PEM-PEM ASSO, ETC. ETC.) to seek the removal of said nominee ( eg. Cllr. Nwabudike etc. etc.) from his or her current post or any other post, despite whichever reasons for which his or her nomination may have been rejected or withdrawn!

        For as far as the Constitution is concerned Nwabudike was simply as any other nominee who has not been lucky to be confirmed by the Senate! And not for any legal or constitutional liability nor guilt on the part of the nominee PERIOD!

        Not to talk about the fact in the Nwabudikeś case where the Supreme Court (with its sole jurisdiction of Articles 65 and 66) has A POSITIVE VIEW in the favor and interest of the said nominee completely different, divergent, and opposite to the Senateś reason for rejection or the Presidentś reason for withdrawal.

        But of course, we do not blame most of you for your strange, but of course laughable reasonings in these matters! But we blame people like Jonathan Massaquoi or Tiawen Gonloe who have proven to be reckless toddlers in the discipline of law!

    • In accordance with the noble field of Law and the Judicial Process or Comparative Jurisprudence proper, once the Supreme Court had rendered its judgment that Cllr. A.Ndubuisi Nwabudike is a bona fide Liberian citizen, I did not (as I still do now) see it relevant “splitting hairs” on such totally irrelevant contentions as “exact date of birth (63/65)”, age , etc. etc.

      For as a seasoned jurist one should be aware of errors in whatever documentations, and that is why such errors or even deliberate acts therein are GENERALLY or USUALLY OVERRIDDEN by the legal principles and dictates of FAIRNESS, RELEVANCE, CONTRA LEGEM, FORCE MAJEURE, SUBSTANTIAL PERFORMANCE, ETC. ETC.!

      Accordingly, taking into account the supreme jurisprudence of such legal maxims as fairness, relevance, and substantial performance, not to mention the at times unforeseen – whether via mistakes or even done deliberate (as may be dictated by the theory of justice viz necessity), even an intelligent layman effortless see that all this contention about “exact date of birth”, “added names” etc. etc. are simply sentimental, emotional, unnecessarily political, and to certain extent xenophobic, etc.etc.

      For,what are indeed relevant in this and related matter are,

      1. Nwabudike (or whichever negro or of negro descent) in accordance with article 20.1 of the Aliens and Nationality Act of Liberia, Cllr. Nwabudike (or any negro or of negro descent in such capacity as Nwabudike) qualifies as a bona fide Liberian citizen as far as the legal and constitutional maxims of fairness, relevance, and substantial performance, which is that,

      2. Cllr. Nwabudike is a Negro born outside Liberia whose father was a citizen of Liberia at the time of the birth of him Nwabudike, and his Nwabudikeś father had resided in Liberia prior to the birth of the very Nwabudike, and he Nwabudike resided in Liberia before attaining his
      majority or before attaining the age of 23 (Article 20.1 of the Aliens and Nationality Act of Liberia)!!!

      3. Therefore, this rant or lackadaisical contention that because Cllr. Nwabudike naturalized as a Liberian citizen in 1982 when he was 17 years of age, and in accordance with article 21. 2.viz Age requirement of the Aliens and Nationality Law of Liberia “no person shall file a petition for naturalization unless he shall have attained the age of twenty-one years” is absolutely irrelevant; since Nwabudike was already a Liberian citizen under (Article 20.1 of the Aliens and Nationality Act of Liberia)!!!

      Accordingly;

      3. With the Cllr. A. Ndubuisi Nwabudke (a negro as all natural born Liberians and naturalized Liberian) with a father who was a Liberian and resided in Liberia prior to the birth of the very Cllr. A. Ndubuisi Nwabudke who resided in Liberia prior to attaining the age of 23, the almighty Supreme Court saw it jurisprudentially sound and legally, legitimately right, fair, and constitutional to render its judgment that Cllr. A. Ndubuisi Nwabudke is a bona fide Liberian citizen as any other Liberian citizen!

      4. Hence the liks of Tiawen Gongloe, Jonathan Massaquoi, etc. etc. are simply displaying their ignorance, idiocy, etc. sanwished in sentiments, and bizarre xenophobia, not uncommon in those characteristics and nature ligated to silly politics, personal vendetta, hatred, and racism!!!

  2. @True Nationalist,

    You are an idiot ..!!!

    And, Oppong is failing because of fools like you giving him advice about things that you know nothing about.

    For you education, Potato and Cassava are two different things.
    So the decision of the Supreme Court and the decision of the LNBA are two different opinions.

    1) You and some in the Supreme Court believe that the Nigerian con-artist is a naturalized Liberian.
    2) The LNBA believes that the Nigerian con-artist was admitted based on fraudulent, unacceptable behavior.

    The LNBA has corrected its records based on the fact that everybody knows now that this Nigerian is a fraud.

    It is now up to the leadership of the Supreme Court to correct its records.
    If they don’t correct that record now, One Fine Day; a different leadership at the court will — and, Nwabudike knows this fact better than you.

    See you on FPA because that’s your next stop, Fool …!!!

    NOTE:
    LNBA has disbarred Nwabudike, so, he cannot be called Councillor at Law (Cllr) anymore.

  3. Post at 2:03 PM EST on Monday, June 29, 2020

    PART I of III

    ——————————————————

    It’s important to clarify, for the record, what the arguments are all about. I wrote a lot about these issues last week. So, I shall simply cite some of the laws of reference and add a few new issues from the ‘Code of Moral and Professional Ethics’.

    #1. Cllr. Nwabudike’s claim to citizenship is based on

    a. Article 27 of the Liberian Constitution.

    b. Section 20.1 (b) of the Aliens and Nationalization Law [ which grants citizenship to a child, born out of Liberia, to a parent who was a citizen at the time of the child’s birth]

    c. Section 20.1 (b) allows that person to assert citizenship between the ages of 18 and 23.

    d. Cllr. Nwabudike has invoked the entire section 20.1 based on his claim, to Rodney Sieh and possibly others that his dad was a naturalized Liberian at the time he ( Counsellor Nwabudike) was born)

    #2. Section 21.3(2) is a different law that requires age 21 for naturalization. That law would apply to Cllr. Nwabudike’s father. This is the one that Varney Sherman and other critics of Cllr. Nwabudike are using for reference.

    —————————————————–

    CONTINUES WITH PART II of III

  4. Posted at 2:16 PM EST on Monday, June 29, 2020

    PART II of III

    ———————————-

    Membership in the Liberian Bar is two-fold: as an Attorney and as a Counsellor-at-law. Both categories require citizenship of Liberia but membership of the Supreme Court bar requires higher standards.

    a. An attorney must be a graduate of L.A. Grimes School of Law or another law school and must pass the bar exam for qualification as an Attorney.

    b. A Counsellor-at-law must be an Attorney who has practiced law for at least(3) years before applying for membership of the Supreme Court bar.

    c. The applicant must take another exam for qualification as Counsellor-at law and must be vetted by two(2) committees.

    d. A petition must be made to the Supreme Court and the Court issues a ruling, which is published.

    e. Counsellor Nwabudike is claiming that his status as Counsellor at law proves that he was vetted for meeting the qualifications: citizenship, three-year law practice, and vetting by two(2) committees.

    Now, let’s go to the Supreme Court’s ‘Code of Moral and Professional Ethics’ to determine whether or not Cllr. Gongloe and others like Cllr. Jonathan Massaquoi are correct.

    —————————————-

    CONTINUES WITH PART III of III

  5. Warningshot, it seems you are idiocy personified; and your idiocy knows no bounds! However, get this erudition into that shell on your shoulders:!

    Warningshot, etc. etc.,just how someone cannot sue the President of the Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate, nor the Speaker of The House simply because he or she does not like a policy of or decision, nor can anyone use the court solely to promote a particular interpretation of the Liberian Constitution, NO ONE OR NO ENTITY can sue or challenge the Supreme Courtś judgment (articles 65&66 Lib Const), not even the Executive Branch nor the Legislative Branch!

    Challenging such Supreme Courtś judgment on citizenship is an exercise doomed to end up a mirage! THAT MATTER IS RES JUDICATA!!

    The Liberian people are blessed because they have a long prayed for leader Dr. George Manneh Weah with the visionary leadership and the political charismatic mettle needed for making Liberia economically powerful and admirable on the continent of Africa, and within the comity and community of nations on the one hand.

    And on the other hand, the international political clout to make Liberia a stable and peaceful nation while pouring in national economic prosperity, and the political will to restore Liberiaś greatness and treasured bonds of continental and national unity as required and authorized in the Preamble of the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia!

    Warningshot, that matter is A RES JUDICATA!!! Not even the Executive Branch (which has standing in such citizenship matter) can challenge that decision or judgment of the Supreme Court! So, trash that wishful thinking about “legislative oversight” in this matter! For such “legislative oversight” viz this matter, can ONLY BE DONE by the legislature rewriting (making amendment) to override the courtś interpretation. PERIOD!

    The LNBA, a mere associational group, not forming any part of the government, NOR ANY part of governmentś bureaucracy or machinery of government, DOES NOT have the authority, power, nor jurisdiction, to disbar ANYONE from practicing law within the territorial and or extraterritorial jurisdictions of the Republic of Liberia!

    That authority or power is resident within the statutory province, and constitutional jurisdiction, of THE SUPREME COURT OF The Republic LIBERIA AND IN THE SUPREME COURT OF The Republic LIBERIA ALONE! What is going on at the LNBA is an extremely silly and cowardly attempted IMPERSONATION on the part of the so called LNBA – a mere sectional group ranked with such groups as PEM-PEM ASSO ETC. ETC.!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now take in this erudition: In accordance with the Madisonś theory of the key principles of the separation of powers as contained in the Liberian and American Constitutions, the legislative branch is responsible for passing laws, the executive branch for carrying them out, and the judicial branch for interpreting them, punishing offenders, and resolving disputes.

    The Supreme Court has resolved that Cllr. A. Ndubuisi Nwabudike is a bona fide Liberian citizen and a professional lawyer with all rights and privileges to practice aw within Liberiaś territorail and extra-territorial jurisdictions!!!

    Hence, know ye henceforth and forthwith, and let all those who have ears hear henceforth and forthwith that THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE STANDING TO SUE relates to the need for real controversy. Groups or individuals seeking judicial review MUST show that a situation adversely affects their legal rights in a personal way.

    They (eg. LNBA, PEM-PEM ASSO.ETC) cannot sue nor seek judicial review in the general interest of the given community, Rather, they must show that the governmental action or court action (eg. Supreme Court judgment on Nwabudikeś citizenship) they want to challenge in court injures them personally.

    In other words, just how someone cannot sue the President of the Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate, nor the Speaker of The House simply because he or she does not like a policy of or decision, nor can anyone use the court solely to promote a particular interpretation of the Liberian Constitution, NO ONE OR NO ENTITY can sue or challenge the Supreme Courtś judgment (articles 65&66 Lib Const), not even the Executive Branch nor the Legislative Branch! THAT MATTER IS RES JUDICATA!!!

  6. Posted at 2:55 PM EST on Monday, June 29, 2020

    ————————————

    PART III OF III

    Cllrs. Gongloe and Massaquoi may be relying on Rule 29 (section 1 ) of the Supreme Court’s ‘CODE OF MORAL AND PROFESSIONAL ETHICS’ to justify the early disbarment of Cllr. Nwabudike.

    So, let’s quote the relevant except of Rule 29 (section 1).

    Rule 29 (section1) states, inter alia, that:

    “Lawyers should expose without fear or favor before the Bar Association corrupt or dishonest conduct in the profession…. “.

    On the surface, it may be sufficient reason to institute disbarment proceedings. However, there is a need to read further [ at Rule 29 section 2].

    Rule 29 Section 2 states :

    “A conviction by the courts of a lawyer for any criminal act, or for conduct in violation of this code of ethics, is sufficient proof of the lawyer’s unfitness to remain in the bar if found guilty of crime, and he may be penalized by disbarment or suspension from the Bar in case of violation of the code. “

    So, this begs the questions:

    1. Has Counsellor Nwabudike been convicted in a court of a criminal act? The answer is obvious

    2. Has Counsellor Nwabudike been convicted for “… conduct in violation of this code of ethics…”?

    The answer to question #1 is obvious — NO!!!!! The Government of Liberia has not commenced criminal proceedings against him.

    The answer to question #2 is subject to debate.

    END OF PART III OF III

  7. For a Tiawen Gongloe who would claim to be a constitutional lawyer, but believes that impeachment proceedings by THE HOUSE and subsequent impeachment and removal of a Supreme Courtś Associate Justice or a Judge, must be contingent on, or must be ante-dated by a verdict of the Supreme Court or its subordinate court, what else should one expect from him and this other dummy calling himself Jonathan Massaquoi?

    What I have actually gathered about these clowns over the years is that their knowledge about law and the judicial process is simply elementary. And worst, you have editors and reporters who are not willing to undergo courses in especially law and the judicial process (for their own good); but are just there disseminating the disinformation, negligent, and fraudulent misrepresentations, from the likes of dull and incompetent Tiawen Gongloe and Jonathan Massaquoi “stabbing in the dark.”

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