MONROVIA, Montserrado â€“ Criminal Court B has disclosed that it has no record of any naturalization document issued to Ndubusi Nwabudike. The Nigerian-born lawyer, who claimed to be a naturalized Liberian citizen, was recently the focus of a nomination controversy at the Senate.
The courtâ€™s action to search for Nwabudikeâ€™s naturalization document was based on a petition for search and discovery filed on April 2 by Findley Karnga, a human rights lawyer.
President George Weah had nominated Nwabudike to serve as chairman of the National Elections Commission on March 20, to replace Jerome Korkoya. The president has since withdrawn the nomination.
Karnga asked the court to search and discover a May 1982 naturalization document that the lawyer said was issued to him at age 17 during his hearing before senators.
In response to Karngaâ€™s petition, the courtâ€™s clerk, Ben George Teah, said after days of a thorough search, there was no information about Nwabudikeâ€™s legal resident status or naturalization.
The court further communicated with the Liberia Immigration Service about its findings: â€œIn response to said communication, we like to inform you through this medium that after a thorough search of our records, we have not found any information [on] Cllr. Nwabudikeâ€™s legal resident status or naturalization.â€
Based on information from the Liberia Immigration Service and the courtâ€™s records, the clerk issued a certificate to Karnga informing him that there was no naturalization document belonging to Nwabudike before the court.
Meanwhile, Karnga told The Bush Chicken that although Pres. Weah had already withdrawn Nwabudikeâ€™s nomination, he still plans to take legal actions against the lawyer for impersonating a Liberian citizen without proof. Karnga accused Nwabudike of forging court documents.
â€œHe must state how he got his naturalization certificate that is being paraded all [over] social media because [forging] a court document is a serious crime here in Liberia,â€ Karnga said.
The human rights lawyer said his objective in this fight is to ensure that the right measures are instituted to serve as a warning for future violators who would want to exploit Liberiaâ€™s system.
Last Wednesday, the Senate discharged Nwabudike form the witness stand during his confirmation hearing after the Committee on Autonomous Agencies and Commissions found discrepancies in how he acquired his naturalization.
The Liberian National Bar Associationâ€™s Grievance and Ethics Committee has already been directed to investigate Nwabudikeâ€™s citizenship to verify whether he met the requirement of becoming a citizen of Liberia. Citizenship is required to work as a lawyer in Liberia.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah