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

Was There A Bargain For Nwabudike’s Confirmation?

By Alex Yomah

Reports gathered that Ndubusi Nwabudike, the self-naturalized Liberian, whose nationality is low-cut and marred by fraud have cartwheeled back to the Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) after lying under oath at the Liberian Senate.There is this mounting public outcry by even staffers of the LACC as well as other in the legal space that Nwabudike might remain at the helm of the LACC to end his tenure despite the growing waves of public outcry.
Nwabudike was rejected by the Liberian Senate to head the National Elections Commission (NEC) due to his inability to prove his Liberian citizenship during his confirmation before a Senate committee.
The Act creating the LACC states that each member of the Commissioner shall be a ‘Liberian’ citizen and of good moral character but that is not the case with Nwabudike who is painstakingly seated at that integrity institution as chairperson.
Yet, multiple sources close to both the Legislature and the Executive confided in this paper that Nwabudike will remain as chairperson of LACC until his tenure expires or otherwise as he may deem expedient because there is an alleged bargain between the Senate and Cllr. Nwabudike which should have landed him at the helm of the NEC unconditionally.
“They assured the President to have confirmed Nwabudike and his entire team that was nominated to the NEC but the Senate fell short of honoring its side of the bargain due to pressure from the public and scores of international partners,” a source noted.
According to this paper’s source, the bargain was accomplished with a huge undisclosed amount of United States dollar as kickbacks representing the Executive side of which each senator considered as ‘bloc’ members received over US$6,000 to effectuate.
“Our hands are tied and we not in the position to respond to the public outcry now because we took money from Nwabudike and we failed to live up to the agreement,” a source closed to the Legislature confirmed on confidentiality.
“Not everyone received the kickbacks to confirm Nwabudike. If you follow the debate during the confirmation, those that were questioning the NEC boss were considered from the opposition bloc including Senator Darius Dillon, Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, Daniel Naateh, Oscar Cooper, Steve Zargo, Commany Wesseh were among opposition lawmakers who did not receive some of that money,” a source expressed.
“Those who voted for the impeachment of Ja’neh formed themselves into a what is considered as ‘Bloc(a)’ and the so-called majority bloc members bent on accepting kickbacks under the gravel of the Pro-temp Chie and this is what is still embarrassing the Senate,” our sources alleged.
According to the LACC’s Act, the mission of that Commission is to prevent, address and reduce corruption in the public and private sectors and to promote good governance, integrity and rule of law while its roles and main objective among other things. It also mandates that Commission to break the culture of impunity that has engulfed Liberia by punishing people fairly but effectively in keeping with the rule of law.
While the administration of the LACC speaks about employing professional staff with integrity yet the Nigerian-born, Nwabudike, who sailed his way through the Liberian government without a spike of document to prove his nationality got a slap in the face when he accepted the nomination from President George Weah to preside over the country’s elections, a position which is also set aside for only Liberians.
Nwabudike’s entire CV submitted to the Committee did not include his controversial citizenship certificate and that was the moment in his professional life that should have broken the camel’s back but what remains interesting is that such individual is said to still be enjoying every privilege at an integrity institution like the LACC which is clothed with the authority of scrutinizing and reporting against the credibility of others in government especially as it relates to corruption.
Nwabudike, a staunch member of the Liberia National Bar Association who still enjoys the comfort of his assigned vehicle plated 3500, has a record that shows that he was born in 1963, 1965 and while he told the Senate committee that he was born to both Nigerian parents and got naturalized as a Liberian in 1982 because his parents were Nigerians but had a lineage with his Liberian grandmother who was a Gola by tribe which propelled him to obtain a Liberian nationality.
Meanwhile, the same Act creating the LACC states that a commissioner shall hold office during ‘good’ behavior and shall be removed by the President for any ‘gross’ breach of duty, misconduct in office or any proven act of corruption.
Apparently not considering that that position was one of a tenure for five years; a timeframe that Nwabudike did not exhaust during his tenure, yet the President chose to eject him having served the LACC for two months and nominate him to the NEC at a crucial time when the special senatorial elections is within this same year only to be replaced through confirmation by Cllr. Martin who is already serving as County Attorney for Montserrado County.
Legal pundits also claim that not everything that is expedient is legal yet the President still allows Nwabudike to revolve as chairperson of the LACC under the law of tenure which was never upheld by the very President when he seconded Cllr. Martin to that same post undoubtingly because he was sure that with the bargain, his (Nwabudike) confidant would
While many political and legal onlookers remain dumbfounded and await a decision from the Legislature as well as the Executive, the office of the President said there is absolutely nothing the President can do in the case of Nwabudike simply because he occupies a tenure position.
“That is where he (Nwabudike) belongs,” Presidential Press Secretary Isaac Solo Kelgbeh told the presenter of a breakfast show recently when he was asked if President Weah was aware that Nwabudike had returned to the LACC as chairperson.

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