Good Riddance to Nwabudike! Bon Courage and Bravo to LNBA!

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The rejection by the Senate of Austin Nwabuidike’s nomination to serve as Chairman of the National Elections Commission of Liberia, based on questionable and conflicting information he provided to that body concerning his nationality did not come as a surprise to the public. Not surprising also are the responses from lapdogs hiding behind aliases for fear of receiving lashes from the public.

But what is surprising is that President Weah has not seen it fit to remove him as Chairman of the LACC, despite Nwabudike’s woeful performance before the Senate which left no doubt in the minds of the public about his true nationality as a Nigerian. He lied under oath before the Senate about his nationality and his repeated attempts to interpret the law in a twisted fashion simply to justify his outright lies is revolting and it tends to cast aspersion on President Weah’s sense of judgement.

In previous editorials, the Daily Observer has cautioned President Weah to not allow himself to become a laughing stock amongst his colleagues, for the mere fact that he would appear to hold so much confidence in a Nigerian fraudster who, through tricks and artifice, managed earlier to finagle out of the Liberian Senate a vote of approval to confirm him in the post of chairman of LACC.

The Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA), having become seized of the matter following his (Nwabudike) disgraceful showing before the Senate, launched an investigation in order to determine the veracity of Nwabudike’s claim to Liberian citizenship. In a show of gross disrespect to the institution and its leadership, he flouted every attempt by the Bar to get him to address its findings from the investigation.

Nwabudike had told senators that he had been naturalized in 1982 — at age 17, which is a blatant violation of Section 21.3 of the country’s Aliens and Nationality Law. Further, Section 21.3 of the law says no person can file a petition for naturalization before the age of 21.

Continuing his lying spree, Nwabudike declared, “when I had my declaration of intents, I was a minor and because of that, I was required to bring a parental consent and an adult to stand to take the oath behind me”. To the contrary, however, there is no where in the Constitution or in the laws of the Republic that provides for parents or adults to accompany minors applying for citizenship. In fact, the law forbids anyone below the age of 21 to apply for naturalization as a citizen of Liberia.

By Nwabudike’s statements, made under oath, he was implying that the Judiciary as well as the LNBA had endorsed his fraudulent claims to citizenship. But more to that, it raised serious doubts about the integrity of the procedures and processes used by those bodies to evaluate candidates for qualification and admission to the practice of law in Liberia.

But there are those pushing fatally flawed arguments that the action of the LNBA was illegal because the Supreme Court did not approve same. What they often fail to acknowledge is the fact that the Bar Association is the arm of court. Moreover, its leadership is elected by its entire membership and is not appointed by the Supreme Court. The LNBA operates under its own rules and regulations based on its Constitution and is accountable to its membership.

Accordingly, it has the right to decide on who to confer membership. And the first criteria for membership in the LNBA is Liberian citizenship, absent which membership cannot be conferred. Neither can the Supreme Court sua sponte confer membership of the Bar on any individual aspiring to practice law in Liberia, nor will the Courts tolerate or allow any lawyer to practice before it who is not in good standing with the LNBA.

This is because Courts by themselves cannot function without lawyers. However this unique relationship with the Bar does not mean that the LNBA usurps the power of the Supreme Court to disbar any lawyer from legal practice in the Republic. The power to disbar remains reposed in the Supreme Court; yet, at the same time, the Supreme Court cannot decide who can be admitted to membership in the Bar neither can it revoke the expulsion of any of its members, provided that lawyer or individual was granted due process under the law.

In the case at bar, it remains to be seen whether the Supreme Court can intervene on Nwabudike’s behalf to save his hide by reversing the decision of the Bar, although political interference by the Executive in bringing pressure to bear on the Judiciary cannot be ruled out. However, if it does, the Supreme Court could risk a boycott of the Courts by the Bar which could paralyze operations of the Judiciary.

But the question is, why risk a boycott for the good of a fraudster who could never ascend to such heights of political influence in his own country of birth and upbringing? Those lawyers espousing such flawed logic, questioning the Bar, are either making mischief or are ogling for a coveted post in government.

But nothing is strange here in this country’s political culture. Now, as like in the past, there are individuals seemingly always on the prowl, hustling for opportunities to amass cheap fortune, never losing an opportunity to steal and loot. And they come in many hues, lawyers, doctors, politicians etc. But the Liberian people are no fools because, by their fruits they shall be known, for in due season, comeuppance is certain.

The LNBA under the leadership of respected human rights lawyer, Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe, deserves commendation for its action taken to expel Nwabudike from its membership. He has now become what our people call “Government Bone”, meaning he belongs to everyone and no one. Let the government then decide what becomes of him. For our part it is “Good Riddance” to Nwabuidike and Bon Courage and Bravo to the LNBA.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Posted at 11:49 AM EST on Tuesday, June 23, 2020

    Once again, it has become necessary to bludgeon this vile combination of ignorance and mass public deception by a newspaper editor with his own agenda.

    Yesterday, I posted comments on Cllr. Nwabudike’s expulsion from the LNBA. I cited relevant articles of the Constitution of Liberia and the statutory laws associated with aliens and nationalization. I expressed regret that the arguments submitted prior to my involvement were “bereft” of relevant statutes.

    In my five-part submission, I referred specifically to the following:

    #1. Article 2(section 2) of the CONSTITUTION [ determination of constitutionality of statutory laws enacted]

    #2. Articles 27, and 28 of the Liberian CONSTITUTION [ definition of Liberian citizenship]

    #3. Articles 20.1 of the ALIENS AND NATIONALITY laws [ which allows a foreign-born child of a naturalized father to assert citizenship if he RESIDES IN LIBERIA PRIOR TO AGE 18—Cllr.Nwabudike’s argument]

    #4. Article 21.3(2) of the ALIENS AND NATIONALITY laws [ which requires an immigrant to be 21 years old for naturalization — Cllr. Nwabudike’s father]

    #5. Article 20 of the CONSTITUTION [ regarding the need for due process]

    #6. Articles 21.50(a) and (b), 21.10, 21.54, and 21.53(a) of the ALIENS AND NATIONALITY LAWS [the process for revoking a person’s citizenship, which has not even commenced]

    #7. Article 21.59 of the ALIENS AND NATIONALITY laws [ which grants the Legislature the power to enact a special statute that would force the Justice Ministry to initiate citizenship revocation]

    Now, here we see a sudden appearance of reliance on article 21.3 [ of the ALIENS AND NATIONALITY laws] in a futile attempt to sanction the LNBA’s disregard for the rule of law. Perhaps, it is coincidental that the Daily Observer now sees reason to refer to this article.

    Or maybe, it is continuation of disingenuous campaign to deceive the public by mentioning article 21.3 [ without regard for article 20.1 (Cllr. Nwabudike’s age-17 argument]. We’ll let the readers decide.

    In the meantime, I urge readers to do the following:

    #1. Visit the discussion thread that follows the Daily Observer’s June 22, 2020 article ‘LNBA’S Expulsion of Nwabudike Sparks Contention]

    #2. Review the ALIENS AND NATIONALITY laws at the PUL’s website. It will refer to a PDF file. Note: The Daily Observer’s comment platform apparently disallows posting of URL.

    • Your opinion is not tantamount to judgment to be imposed on our legal body, Sir. We have read your inputs and made observations, there is no need you insist coming back with your observations.
      If you think the LNBA’s decision is deficient, challenge it at the court of law. Thank you for your intellectual inputs.

      This article is in no way a combination of ignorance and mass public deception. It embodies patriotism and pertinence!

      • So Petarus Dolo, for you “the embodiment of patriotism and pertinence” is a rascal hiding behind a newspaper and LYING to the public that an associational group (which has absolutely no connection to government) is an institutional group forming part of the machinery of government?

        Or what “embodies patriotism and pertinence” is according to you, this ignorance asserted by this personification of idiocy hiding behind “web administration” and spewing such lies and displayed bulldung as:

        “What they often fail to acknowledge is the fact that the Bar Association is the arm of court.” Blind leading blind as ignorant lawyers tutoring blind idiotic journalists!

        The fool does not know that the LNBA is a mere voluntary association as the PEM-PEM association or PUL, Hunters Association, Female Lawyers Asso, Fishermen Union, etc. etc. having no connection to the Supreme Court or any branch of government. In Political Science 101 we term such groupps as sectional groups.

        If you want to be “your own man”, you better don ´t “listen” to these ignoramus around here claiming to be lawyers and journalists (eg. Tiawen Saye Gongloe, this so called “web administrator” etc.) Blind leading blind as ignorant lawyers tutoring blind idiotic journalists!

        Let Gongloeś idiotic, dull and very silly, interpretation of Article 21 (i) which provides that “There shall be absolute immunity from any government sanctions or interference in the performance of legal services as a Counsellor or Advocate”, and this displayed idiocy of the “LNBA being the arm of the Supreme Court” as ranted here by this so called journalist, REMIND YOU AT ALL TIMES, that these people are all dummies! Blind leading blind as ignorant lawyers tutoring blind idiotic journalists!

        On the subject matter of GROUPS, INTERESTS, AND MOVEMENTS, vis a vis group politics, you have:

        (1) communal groups (membership based on birth),

        (2)institutional groups (groups which are part of the machinery of government – bureaucracies, police, military, etc), and

        (3) associational groups (voluntary NGOS – whether professional bodies or not – category or status ranging from PEM-PEM Union to LNBA or Medical Association, and Fishermen, farmers, or Hunters Union).

    • Posted at 1:00 PM EST on Tuesday, June 23, 2020

      For the benefit of the public, my harsh criticism of the ‘Daily Observer’ stems from the following PRIMARY fact:

      #1. The Daily Observer wrote “… But nothing is strange here in this country’s political culture. Now, as like in the past, there are individuals seemingly always on the prowl, hustling for opportunities to amass cheap fortune, never losing an opportunity to steal and loot. And they come in many hues, lawyers, doctors, politicians etc….”.

      Without specifying the names of those who are “…hustling for opportunities to amass cheap fortune” and those who are “…never losing an opportunity to steal and loot..”, the Daily Observer casts aspersions on the characters of all of us who have dared to disagree with the LNBA’s decision.

      I have always taken strong umbrage with defamation of my reputation.

      So, reckless comments by ‘Daily Observer‘ editor(s) hiding behind “Webmaster Administrator” caption will earn appropriate rebuke in the same public forum.

    • The statement infra is made by this so called “Web Administration” of the Daily Observer:

      “But there are those pushing fatally flawed arguments that the action of the LNBA was illegal because the Supreme Court did not approve same. What they often fail to acknowledge is the fact that the Bar Association is the arm of court.”

      Look Mr. Web Administration, STOP LYING TO DECEIVE THE PUBLIC!

      The LNBA IS NOT AN INSTITUTIONAL GROUP! The LNBA is a mere ASSOCIATIONAL GROUP! Institutional groups (enjoying no measure of independence or autonomy) are groups which are or that are part of the machinery of government!

      Neither the Medical Association, the PEM-PEM ASSO, THE LNBA, THE PUL, THE DRIVERS UNION, THE MARKET TRADERS ASSO, ETC.ETC. are institutional groups nor can they ever be ranked as such, as you choose to foolishly but criminally lie that “the Bar Association (a mere associational group) is the arm of court”! WHAT A SILLY LIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      My friend, the LNBA is an associational group. And associational groups are ones that are formed by people who come together to pursue shared, but limited goals.

      Such groups (eg. PUL, PEM-PEM ASSO, LNBA, Market Association) sometimes referred to as sectional groups or interest groups are characterized by voluntary actions and the existence of common interest, aspirations or attitudes to advance or protect the (usually material) interests of their members!

      And this is what inter alia that dull and incompetent Tiawen Gongloe does not know, and Cllr. Amara Sheriff of the very LNBA has to teach him Tiawen Gongloe when he Cllr. Sheriff thunders: ““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?”

      Mr. Web liar, AGAIN, associational groups DIFFER FROM JUDICIAL AND OR POLITICAL BODIES which are institutional groups forming part of the machinery of government! Clearest examples of institutional groups are the bureaucracies, the police, the military; they enjoying no measure of independence or autonomy.

      So, IMMEDIATELY rescind your idiocy, deception, fraud, intentional misrepresentation, and ignorance, that “the Bar Association (a mere associational group) is the arm of court”! DAMNED LIAR AND DOOMED IGNORAMUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Posted at 12:35 PM EST on Tuesday, June 23, 2020

    Regarding the call for Cllr. Nwabudike’s dismissal from the Liberian Anti-Corruption Commission, it is necessary to again refer to statutory laws and the Constitution. Let’s start with the LACC Act of 2008.

    Section 6.2 gives the president of Liberia the power to appoint members of the commission.

    Section 6.3 defines qualifications which include, inter alia, that the commissioner must be “…a Liberian citizen of not less than thirty(30) years of age, or good moral character in the community, and with proven records in anti-corruption advocacy or professional training and/or experience in law…. “

    Section 6.6 defines the term of the Chairperson and Vice Person as five(5) years, subject to a one-time re-appointment.

    Section 6.8 defines grounds for removal —- “…A Commissioner shall hold office during good behavior. A Commissioner shall be removed from office by the President for any gross breach of duty, misconduct in office, or any proven act of corruption.”

    [CONTINUES]

  3. Posted at 12:37 PM EST on Tuesday, June 23, 2020

    RENFORD’S INTERPRETATION: Cllr. Nwabudike asserts that he is a Liberian citizen (which is a requirement of section 6.3 above). Until proven otherwise, he has met that qualification.

    And what about his removal? Has he been in “gross breach of duty”? No report or evidence of such while serving as Chairperson of LACC.

    What about “misconduct in office? Same thing. No report or evidence.

    What about “proven act of corruption”? Well, allegations that he is masquerading as a Liberian citizen MAY be considered an “act of corruption”. However, the key word to note is PROVEN.

    That brings us back to the due-process issue. I will not regurgitate. My comments posted yesterday and earlier today about article 20 of the Constitution, as well as articles “…21.50(a) and (b), 21.10, 21.54, and 21.53(a) of the ALIENS AND NATIONALITY LAWS…” should be sufficient.

    ———————-
    FINAL NOTE: To review the LACC Act of 2008, go to lacc(dot)gov(dot)lr/overview/.

    Look for the menu caption “About The LACC”. Scroll down to ‘LACC Act of 2008’. As stated earlier the Daily Observer’s comment platform disallows posting of URL. So, replace the word “dot” with the period mark.

    [END]

  4. Renford,

    This article is definitely not coincidental on the part of Daily Observer but rather mass public deception.
    You are not alone that saw right through it.

    Please continue to give your feedbacks and inputs on articles written on here and don’t pay attention to Rude element seeking State power in Liberia.
    Lies, Manipulations, deception and gravy seeking is part of their selfish agenda for Liberia and it has nothing to do with poor Liberians that continues to go through this for more than 100 years.

    Instead of looking at a over 100 years failed system, they are looking at a man.

  5. Mr. Aaron Nelson Sr. correctly states: “Instead of looking at a 100-year failed system, they are looking at a man”. Nelson Sr. is spot on! But I would like to be explicit. I am not getting between a fight. God is my witness. The way in which Mr. Nelson carefully crafted his observation is appealing.

    The idea of looking specifically at one “man” (most likely Weah) is a non-starter. But unfortunately, most people blame Weah for all the problems of Liberia. That’s precisely why the act of blaming just one man is a non-starter!

    Roads in Liberia are not the best. Realistically, during the past 14 years, road construction has not been given a priority…..I didn’t say a “top priority”. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf started the business of building roads. Her successor George Weah has not blinked! Roads are being built under Weah. If Joseph Jenkins Roberts and all the undemocratic presidents (elected only by the True Whig Partiers) had not been egotistic and inimical, our roads would have been a lot better than the mess we find ourselves in today.

    How about public schools in Liberia?
    In 1847, there wasn’t a high school erected in Bong, Nimba, Grand Gedeh or anywhere in Sinoe or Gee. Although Weah was not born, his critics will cry bloody murder. To them, Weah is only a political soccer ball.

    The political climate in Liberia is staggering. You’ve got politicians in Liberia who drop fake boomlets. These fake Liberian politicians sell snake oil and ideas that could set the country 100 years backwards. Yet I am not suggesting that no one should step up to the plate and express his or her deceitful ideas.

    Sexual promiscuity in Liberia is not new. That particular business has been around since 1847. It’s gotten worse though. In the night time, just go around the Paynesville market area (be careful with the zogos) and you’ll see young guys and gals in action. Instead of finding ways in which jobs could be created for the youth, some aspiring politicians blame Weah. Let’s face it. Weah is not perfect! He has his own bag of transgressions like all of us. But, some politicians prefer to blame Weah for sexual promiscuity. Is that fair? I know a handful of people who will say it’s fair to blame Weah for every problem Liberia is faced with.

    Man, we’ve got ways to go. It’s good to be a genuine patriot than being a blamer of one man.

  6. Brother Nelson,
    By sheer mistake, I left out your middle name, Doe. Just look at it as a mistake on my part. The most important thing is that I am still your brother.

    Hang in there buddy.

  7. Snr. Brother Hney,
    GREETINGS.
    Hahahaha, You cannot forget my middle name, Doe, because that’s the name my nieces and nephews in Nimba recognize me by. LoL.. I was cracking up when you wrote ” I am not getting between a fight ”
    That’s right, because we are just months short of been half way there, 3 more years to go and we will review our options every 90 days thereafter. There’s a reason people say ‘Let sleeping dog lie’.

    On a more serious note, Yes, you are still my Snr. Brother. I totally agree with what you wrote. Stealing public funds in Liberia should be considered crime against humanity punishable by life in jail or death, I think that might be a starter. Who is willing to implement that when the TRC report is still sitting there ?

  8. Brother Nelson,
    To be perfectly honest with you, I laughed out loud after reading your comment. Said you, ” that’s the name my nieces and nephews in Nimba recognize me by”.

    I really want to discuss something with you. Can we arrange or set up an appointment? I have a sister in Minnesota. Maybe she can meet somewhere. Lastly, be safe out brother Nelson. Greetings to you and your loving family.

    Hang in there buddy!

  9. 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 deliberately (as may be dictated by the theory of justice viz necessity), even an intelligent layman effortless sees 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!!!

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