The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Bar Assoc. Wants Lawmakers Reject LACC Boss Bill

The president of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA), Tiawan Gongloe wants members of the National Legislature reject bills emanating from President George Weah seeking to give the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission the prosecuting power.The LNBA president maintained that the Senate should not approve of any budget allocation to the LACC, adding that the Chairperson of the LACC misled the Supreme Court by declaring himself as a citizen of Liberia.
Cllr, Gongloe further stated that the power of the Liberian people is instead in the Senate, something that is predicated upon their shoulder as part of their obligation to swiftly act in being honest with the President, concerning the LACC and its boss’ saga.
“The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission Chairperson Nbudusi Nwabudike lacks integrity and a man who over the years misled the judicial system about his nationality,” the Liberia National Bar Association president stated.
He added that the LACC boss is also a person that is engaged in misrepresentation and lies in order to gain membership at the level of the Supreme Court and therefore request that the Liberian Senate ensure that the LACC boss faces the full weight of the law.
According to the Cllr. Gongloe, the Liberian Senate’s stance is welcoming in the best interest of the Liberian people, while admonishing that august body to ensure that the President respect them by rejecting all proposals or bills from him.
Commenting on the United States Treasury Department’s report on Judges, Magistrates and Lawyers, the LNBA president explained that the Bar takes seriously the report and allegations levied against members of that branch of government.
Meanwhile, Cllr. Gongloe is admonishing lawyers and judges to follow the ethical proceeding of the profession they represent as the world is watching them on a daily basis asserting, “We as lawyers and judges should not get involved into things that have the proclivity to derail the long standing integrity and ethics that we lawyers and judges possess; the world is seriously watching us knowing that the country’s justice system depends on us strongly.”
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 casted 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.
The National Executive Council of Bar met and mandated the President of the Bar Association to instruct the Grievance and Ethics Committee on March 31, 2020 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.
Article 21(i) of the Constitution provides that, “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 deemed it 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.
Therefore, the LNBA acted within the confines of legal speed by exhausting all means possible to provide Cllr. Nwabudike his right to due process.
On April 2, 2020, the Grievance and Ethics Committee sent a letter to Cllr. Nwabudike, informing him of the mandate of the National Executive Council and inviting him to appear before the committee with all relevant documents in support of his claim of Liberian citizenship.
The Committee immediately communicated with the Liberian Immigration Service (LIS), the Clerk of the First Judicial Circuit, Criminal Assisizes (B), the Dean of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law and the Clerk of the Supreme Court, in order to independently acquire relevant information pertaining to the citizenship of Cllr. Nwabudike
But on April 6, 2020, Cllr. Nwabudike wrote the Grievance and Ethics Committee of the LNBA questioning the basis of the investigation, contending that there was no complaint before the LNBA “challenging his citizenship and that he had not violated any provision of the Code of Professional Ethics governing the conduct of lawyers while at the same time arguing that citizenship is given by the Government of Liberia and it is only the Government of
Liberia that can challenge or revoke it; and erroneously agreed that the issue of his citizenship was now moot, since the issue was not raised when he was admitted as attorney-at-law and subsequently as counselor-at-law.
He however promised to meet with the Grievance and Ethics Committee, in order to provide it further clarification thereby copying the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Minister of Justice on his reply to the letter from the Grievance and Ethics Committee.
On April 13, 2020, Cllr. Nwabudike was written a letter inviting him to appear before the Grievance and Ethics Committee on April 24, 2020, at 11:00AM, but he did not appear.
Again, on April 27, 2020, Cllr. Nwabudike was sent a letter to appear before the same committee for investigation on April 30, 2020 at 11:00AM, but he did not appear.
Further, on May 6, 2020, Cllr. Nwabudike was written a letter to appear before the committee for a hearing on May 8, 2020, but he did not appear.
On May 18, 2020, Cllr. Nwabudike was written to appear before the committee on May 27, 2020 for investigation, but he did not show up.
The Committee then invited him through two publications in the Inquirer Newspaper on May 11, 2020 and May 15, 2020 for appearance, but he failed to appear and these publications were also sent to Cllr.
Nwabudike via yet failed as he refused to appear, in complete disregard for the Liberian National Bar Association.
In view the defiant posture of Cllr. Nwabudike, as demonstrated by his deliberate failure and refusal to honor all the citations sent to him to appear for the inquiry that the Grievance and Ethics Committee was mandated by the National Executive Council to conduct, the Committee then proceeded to carry out its mandate by relying on independent sources for information on the validity of Cllr. Nwabudike’s Liberian citizenship.
Meanwhile on April 3, 2020, the Liberian Immigration Service wrote a letter informing the Grievance and Ethics Committee that it did not have any record on Cllr. Nwabudike legal residency status or naturalization in Liberia;
On April 6, 2020, the Committee obtained a clerk certificate from the Clerk of the First Judicial Circuit, Criminal Assizes “B” Temple of Justice, informing it that it had no record about Cllr. Nwabudike’s residency or naturalization status;
From documents obtained from the Senate Confirmation hearings of Cllr. Nwabudike and the pleadings in the record of the Civil Law Court on a petition for declaratory judgment filed by him, the Grievance and Ethics Committee found the following inconsistent information:
A purported certificate of naturalization presented to the Liberian Senate by Cllr. Nwabudike showed that he was issued same by Criminal Court “B” at the Temple
of Justice on May 13, 1982, when in fact that court was called the People’s Criminal Court “B” during the regime of the People’s Redemption Council (PRC), thereby creating more doubt;
However, a perusal of his various passports showed his birth dates as October 19, 1960, October 2, 1963, October 2, 1965 and October 2, 1969;
His 2004 Liberian Passport carries his date of birth as October 2, 1963 and his name as A. Nkwuka Ndubuisi Nwabudike, instead of the name that appears on the roster of the Liberian National Bar Association and Supreme Court Bar which is A. Ndubuisi Nwabudike;
His Liberian National Identification card carries his date of birth as October 2, 1969
and his name as A. Ndubuisi Nkwuka Nwabudike while his application for marriage certificate dated January 22, 1992, filled by himself in handwriting carries his name as A. Ndubuisi Nwabudike, his date of birth as October 19, 1960 and his nationality as Nigerian.
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.
The Bar considered it is a well-settled common law principle that fraud vitiates everything and the committee therefore, recommended that Cllr. 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.”

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