MONROVIA, Montserrado â€“ Amid an ongoing investigation by the Liberia National Bar Association on the authenticity of the citizenship of Ndubusi Nwabudike, the Nigerian-born lawyer has petitioned the Civil Law Court for a declaratory judgment on his Liberian citizenship.
Questions about the Nigerian-born lawyerâ€™s naturalization emerged after Pres. George Weah unsuccessfully nominated him as chair of the National Elections Commission.
Now, Nwabudike is calling on the court to declare his rights as a Liberian citizen to enable him to continue the practice law freely in Liberia.
Liberian law restricts the practice of law to only citizens, and intense questioning from senators at Nwabudikeâ€™s confirmation hearing introduced many doubts about the authenticity of his citizenship.
Nwabudike now says individuals hiding under the banner of the Liberia National Bar Association are attempting to violate the constitution by questioning the status of his legally obtained citizenship.
According to Nwabudike, his certificate of citizenship, issued on May 13, 1982, is enough to prove his citizenship. He noted it was issued by the Peoplesâ€™ Court, now called Criminal Court B, before the formation of the Peopleâ€™s Redemption Council government and prior to the adoption of the 1986 constitution.
Nwabudike argued that during this tumultuous period in the nationâ€™s history, the 1847 constitution was suspended by the military junta until 1986 when the new constitution still in use was adopted.
The petition comes after Criminal Court B has said it has no document in its archives that proves that Nwabudike is a naturalized Liberian citizen. However, it is not clear whether the court lost documents during the countryâ€™s prolonged civil crisis or event if documents from the predecessor court were transferred over.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah