-Says Sen. Dillon, Weah’s nominee must be prosecuted for perjury
Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon, says he will work with his colleagues at the Liberian Senate to ensure that National Elections Commision (NEC) Chairman designate, Cllr. Austin Ndubusi Nwabudike, is prosecuted in accordance with law for crimes against the Liberian State.
“He will also be prosecuted for forgery. The manner of acquisition of his certificate of citizenship has to be investigated,” Dillon said.
The legitimacy of Nwabudike’s nationality took center stage when he appeared in an emotionally charged Senate Chambers on Monday to justify why he should be considered to head the NEC.
His appointment has generated intense debate both in country and the diaspora. Nwabudike’s nomination has since been met with intense criticism and skepticism over his nationality, loyalty and neutrality.
The NEC Chairman designate appeared in the Senate chambers in an effort to put all of the criticisms to bed, but it turned out poorly for him as the manner in which he obtained his naturalization papers appears to be beclouded with suspicions of fraud.
According to Nwabudike, he was born in 1965 and obtained his Liberian citizenship in 1982 at the age of 17 with the assistance of guardians — a narrative that contradicts the Alien and Nationality Law of Liberia.
However, following two days of confirmation hearings for Cllr. Nwabudike has unearthed perjury and forgery as three different documents of his bears three different birth dates. He is also accused of lying under oath about his nationality—these revelations have led many to call for the Senate rules to be upheld and that the “Nigerian Man” must go.
It appears that what was supposed to be an expression of explicit confidence by President George Weah in Cllr. Austin Ndubusi Nwabudike a “naturalized Liberian” of Nigerian lineage, to spearhead electoral matters in the country as Chairman of the (NEC), has now turned into a total nightmare for the nominee who appears to have landed in trouble that could possibly lead to his deportation, if what is transpiring on Capitol Hill is anything to go by.
Senator Dillon said in an interview with reporters after the hearing on Wednesday that the revelation that came out of the confirmation hearing may just be the undoing of “this gentleman.”
“We will ask plenary to put all of the necessary mechanisms in place so that we forward this man to the Ministry of Justice for prosecution for the crime of perjury,” he said, adding, “He lied under oath that he is from Liberia. He is not from Liberia; he is yet to demonstrate that to the satisfaction of the Senate.”
The Montserrado County Lawmaker noted that the crime is so grave that it is a deportable offense. We will push it to deportation.
Cllr. Nwabudike told the Senate, “I don’t have a copy of my naturalization document that is more clear. I don’t have original copy, only photocopy.”
On the issue why his date of birth on his academic records is different from his travel documents, Cllr. Nwabudike said, “My passport had 1963 and I believe the transcript had 1964.” He also told the Senate from the first confirmation that he was born 1965.
Following his answer, Senator Milton Teahjay abruptly ended the confirmation hearing. “We will proceed to end this confirmation hearing.
Meanwhile, Senator Dillon said he is grateful that together the Liberian Senate is trying to get closer to the Liberian people “and we are trying to do what we are supposed to do”.
“The senate is the last vetting committee for the Republic. Maybe the President’s vetting committee did not do proper vetting,” he postulated. “And not because he slipped through the senate before means that we cannot do the right thing now. At least we have built the courage to do the Liberian people’s work in a way that will please them.”
He said the Senate is now correcting itself from the blunders it made in the past. “I want to be humble and tell the Liberian people that we are doing our job,” he said. “I will ask the plenary so we can forward this man (Cllr. Ndubusi Nwabudike) for persecution. He lied under oath. We will prosecute him for forgery; he has to be investigated; we will push for deportation.
As things now stand, a conservative would by now conclude that A. Nbudusi Nwabudike, is denied finally as all records show that he is still a Nigerian, and not a Liberian.”
What transpired on Capitol Hill Wednesday afternoon could be considered a big undoing, not just for the embarrassed NEC chairman designate, but an equally embarrassed President, football legend, George Manneh Weah. And many believe that, after this process, every last bit of credibility would have diminished… or so it seems.