Liberia: Cllr. Nwabudike Expelled From Nat’l Bar Association for Fraudulently Acquiring Membership – Full Findings
Source: Front Page Africa (Monrovia)
The purpose of this press engagement is for the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA) to inform the Liberian people through the press about its findings and decision on the critical issue of the Liberian citizenship of Cllr. A. Nbudusi Nwabudike and his controversial membership of the Liberian National Bar Association. You will recall that during the Senate confirmation hearings of Cllr. A. Nbudusi Nwabudike for the position of Chairman of the National Elections Commission, the issue of the validity of his Liberian citizenship was brought into question and his woeful failure to convince members of the Senate, dominated the hearing and became the single reason for his outright rejection by the Senate and subsequent withdrawal of his nomination by the President of Liberia.
The doubt raised by the Senate over the citizenship of Cllr. Nwabudike by extension, cast a very dark cloud over the integrity and credibility of the Liberian National Bar Association and the Judiciary in evaluating applicants for admission into the legal profession. The LNBA felt duty bound to investigate and find out what the truth is relative to Cllr. Nwabudike’s Liberian citizenship. Therefore, the National Executive Council of the Liberian National Bar met and mandated the President of the Liberian National Bar Association to instruct the Grievance and Ethics Committee to launch a full scale investigation into this matter. As a professional body, the LNBA is under a duty at all times to constantly monitor and evaluate the moral and professional conduct of its members based on information acquired through complaints by individuals or through the public.
The Liberian National Bar Association wishes to emphasize that the legal profession is unique among the professions in Liberia because it is the only profession that is given protection by the Constitution of Liberia. Article 21(i) of the Constitution provides,”… There shall be absolute immunity from any government sanctions or interference in the performance of legal services as a Counsellor or Advocate…” Therefore, the LNBA is under a moral obligation to honor this protection provided by the Constitution of Liberia with the highest degree of integrity and credibility in order to prove to the people of Liberia that the legal profession is worthy of this unique protection. As the saying goes to whom much is given, much is expected. The LNBA therefore, could not ignore the issue of the citizenship status of one of its members when information provided by him created doubt over the authenticity and veracity of his claim of Liberian citizenship.
In view of the information received from the Liberia Immigration Service and First Judicial Circuit, Criminal Assizes “B” that there is no record to support Cllr. Nwabudike’s claim of Liberian citizenship, the existence of information showing gross inconsistency in his dates of birth and names, as well as, the fact that in his application to the Marriage Registry, he declared in his own handwriting in 1992 that he was a Nigerian Citizen, the only valid, logical and common sense conclusion that could be reached by the Grievance and Ethics Committee was that he became a member of the Liberian National Bar Association through fraudulent means. It is a well-settled common law principle that fraud vitiates everything.
The committee therefore, recommended that Cllr. A. Nbudusi Nwabudike be expelled, consistent with Article II Section IX of the Constitution of the Liberian National Bar Association, which provides, “Any member may, after inquiry, be disciplined by means of suspension or expulsion from membership of the Association for proven gross misconduct in his relations to the Association or in his professional undertaking upon two thirds votes of the Membership of the National Executive Council.” At a meeting of the National Executive Council held at 3:00PM, on yesterday, May 18, 2020 here at the headquarters of the Liberian National Bar Association, the Grievance and Ethics Committee’s recommendation that Cllr. A. Nbudusi Nwabudike be expelled was approved by a vote of two thirds members of the National Executive Council of the Liberian National Bar Association. Hence, Cllr. A. N. Nwabudike is hereby expelled from the membership of the Liberian National Bar Association. His name is hereby stricken from the roster of the membership of the Liberian National Bar Association.
This decision will be shortly communicated to the President of the Republic of Liberia, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia and all courts throughout the Republic of Liberian.