Liberia: Nat’l Elections Commission Chairman-Designate ‘Naturalized Citizenship’ Comes under Heavy Questioning
Source: Front Page Africa (Monrovia)
By Henry Karmo
MONROVIA – Under the naturalization law of Liberia, a person below 18 years of age is a minor; and a minor is disallowed from obtaining naturalization for himself or herself. The law provides that any person seeking to naturalize himself/herself must have attained the “age of maturity” – 21 years and above.
On Monday, March 30, 2020, the nominee for the position of chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC) alleged that he was 17 years old when he obtained his naturalization of Liberian citizenship in 1982.
Cllr. A. Ndubusi Nwabudike statement was in response to a line of questioning from Senator, Cllr. Varney Sherman of Grand Cape Mount County.
“The law says before you’re naturalized in Liberia you must be 21 years old and you say you were born in 1964, that means you were 17 years old when you naturalized, so that suggests you were not qualified to become a naturalized citizen,” Senator Sherman asked the nominee.
In his argument, Cllr. Nwabudike said at age 17 when he decided to obtain Liberian citizenship he was required by the court to take along an adult who could stand as guarantor. He could not tell Senate committee members or show his certificate of renunciation of his Nigeria citizenship but was able to produce a photocopy of his naturalization certificate after the issue was raised by Senator Armah Jallah of Gbarpolu County, a ranking member of the committee
“When I filed for naturalization I was a minor; I was required to bring an adult to stand behind me for the taking of the oath. My argument is that our law has set precedence when a minor is about to take a decision under the law that minor is guided by an adult,” he said.