Just what is Ndubusi Austin Nwabuidike doing at the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission(LACC) and why is he, as a non-Liberian, still serving as Chairman of that body, is the question uppermost on the minds of anxious public.
This is an individual who appeared before the Legislature and lied under oath about his nationality in a seemingly desperate attempt to secure the job as NEC chairman. Documents he presented to that body to establish proof of his nationality were all fake. However, before the Legislature could render a final decision on his confirmation, President Weah withdrew his nomination as Chairman of the National Elections Commission.
But rather than letting go, Nwabudike sued the Government of Liberia in a bid to compel recognition of his fake documents declaring him a Liberian citizen. He declared that he had filed a petition for naturalization at the tender age of 17 which was clearly against the law. But when confronted, Nwabudike instead argued that because he was not of legal age, the Court required him to be accompanied by an adult Liberian in order to qualify for citizenship which was again a lie.
Besides, the New Alien and Nationality law is clear and unequivocal on the age requirement for naturalization (Section 21.3 subsection 2). It states that no individual who has not attained the age of twenty-one (21) can apply for naturalization as a Liberian. And it clearly does not provide that a minor applying for citizenship should be accompanied by a Liberian adult.
It remains unclear whether the Court has taken a decision on the matter but Nwabudike has since quietly returned to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC). But reports suggesting that Nwabudike is plotting revenge against those senators who voted against him, though laughable, cannot be dismissed with a wave of the hand.
The fact that Nwabudke is indeed exercising authority and functioning in the post of Chairman of LACC when he is not a Liberian as required by law is disturbing. More to that it conveys the impression rightly or wrongly, that President either does not understand the implications of his actions and is therefore proceeding wrongly or that Nwabudike is favored above the law by President Weah.
Additionally, according to West African diplomatic sources it makes President Weah a virtual laughing stock in the subregion, particularly within high circles in Nigerian society. That a relatively lowlife Nigerian who could not ascend the ranks within his own country of birth and upbringing would by sudden flight morph into a bigwig in Liberian political circles is what members of the Nigerian Community in Liberia find difficult to stomach.
He was twice rejected at the polls by his compatriots when he sought to become head of that body. For reasons related to fraud, according to an official (name withheld) of the Nigerian Community, he was expelled from membership of the organization. According to the official, Nwabudike was taken to court by the Community leadership, however their efforts were frustrated by a former government official (now deceased).
Justice Minister Musa Dean, as official legal advisor to the President, ought to become seized of the a matter advise the President fully and properly protect the interests of the Republic either by advising President Weah to relieve Nwabudike of the post of Chairman of LACC or commencing legal action through filing of a Petition for Declaratory Judgment according to legal analysts.
Whatever the case, the buck stops at the doorsteps of President Weah. He has sworn under oath to protect and defend the interests of the Republic at all times. In view of this, he should act to protect the interests of the Republic from a fraudster who, under the laws of this Republic is barred from occupying such a post.
Moreover, Nwabuidike should rightly be facing prosecution for criminally posing as a Liberian and deriving benefits appertaining to positions in government to which he is not legally entitled. Additionally, he should be made to restitute all resources, material and financial, which have been availed to him at the Governance Commission (GC) and now the LACC.
But whether such action will be taken remains doubtful. Justice Minister Musa Dean, though being fully cognizant of the powers accorded to him as Justice Minister and official legal advisor to the President, has clearly not measured up to the task. And this is either due to fears of dismissal from his lucrative post should he appear to be on the wrong side of the President or is simply unable, lacks the spine and guts to present the President with the facts and truth.
But the failure or inability of President Weah’s corps of advisors and policy makers to provide proper guidance to him is dangerous and does not bode well. Perhaps President Weah is by now probably aware how his officials peddle idle but dangerous gossips about him, about how he is acquiring insane wealth while his people continue to languish in poverty.
Consider how for example Presidential Press Secretary struggled to clarify media reports on ownership of the newly reconstructed properties on 9th Street estimated to cost over one million US dollars and the negative public image it conveyed of the President.
In another instance CDC party Chairman, Mulbah Morlu was for example caught on tape telling colleagues how President Weah receives money from donors intended for the country and deposits same into his personal account.
Also, discussed was how Finance Minister Samuel Tweah and Minister of State, Nathaniel McGill are the two most hated men in Liberia. And only God knows what other gossips they have been or continue to peddle including gossips about his (President Weah’s) alleged relationship with Nwabuidike.
In the final analysis it is President Weah who will take the blame for whatever shortcomings or ills that may be attributed to this government. He must bear on mind that time is fleet of foot and soon his 6-yr tenure will be up. For now, the “bells are tolling” and ask not for whom the bells toll because they “toll for thee”.