Controversial Nigerian-Born Lawyer Wants the Court to Affirm His Citizenship

MONROVIA, Montserrado – 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 lawyer’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 Nwabudike’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 Peoples’ Court, now called Criminal Court B, before the formation of the People’s Redemption Council government and prior to the adoption of the 1986 constitution.

Nwabudike argued that during this tumultuous period in the nation’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 country’s prolonged civil crisis or event if documents from the predecessor court were transferred over.

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah

Miama Morine Pewee

Miama Morine Pewee is a senior student at the African Methodist Episcopal University, studying Mass Communication with an emphasis in Public Administration. She holds a certificate in Gender Sensitive Reporting, a diploma in Journalism, and an advanced certificate in Computer Science.

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