Liberia: Nwabudike Name Surfaces On List of Lawyers Approved By Bar Association Despite Questionable Citizenship
Monrovia – The Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) has released the names of qualified lawyers to practice in the country, amongst the names is Cllr. A. Ndubusi Nwabudike, whose Liberian citizenship came under massive scrutiny after he was nominated as Chairman for the National Elections Commission.
Report by Augustine T. Tweh, [email protected]
LNBA list was posted at the entrance of various courts on the grounds of the Temple of Justice on Tuesday, June 2. It contains names of counselors and Attorneys-at-law who are qualified to practice this year.
But it has created mixed feelings and reactions among lawyers following the investigation of Cllr. Nwabudike by the Bar Association. The Bar is probing him after several variances were notice in his responses about his Liberian citizenship during his failed Senate confirmation hearing.
That has put his citizenship under the spotlight and if evidence shows he obtained his Liberian citizenship fraudulently, he was be scrapped off his membership with the Bar. The law provides that only Liberians are eligible to practice law in the country.
A legal luminary, who spoke to FrontPageAfrica Tuesday on condition of anonymity, said the qualification of Nwabudike by the LNBA has left more doubts and unanswered questions about his “fake nationality and LNBA membership”.
He said the action of the LNBA has already “undermined” the investigation it has promised to conduct on the Nigerian-Liberian.
Another lawyer also opined that the LNBA does not have the authority to revoke Nwabudike’s license or stop him from practicing law in the country, adding that only the Supreme Court has the authority to revoke his license, suspend or ban the counselor from practicing law in the country.
“Publishing his name does not matter. Only the Supreme Court has the power to revoke his license or stop him from practicing law if there is any fraud or criminality on his part,” the source said.
The LNBA had earlier promised to investigate the issues surrounding Cllr. Nwabudike’s nationality, membership with the Bar and his admittance to the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law.
Responding to an FPA inquiry Tuesday about the Bar investigation, the Secretary General of the LNBA, Cllr. Bobby Livingstone said the investigation report will be finalized in the soonest possible time.
“It is true that an investigation is going on and is being handled by the Ethics and Grievances Committee of the LNBA which is being chaired by Cllr. Milton Taylor and the committee has been making effort to get in touch with Cllr. Nwabudike to grant him the opportunity to due process to be heard because under our law, one cannot be deprived of his entitlement without according him due process,” Cllr. Livingston said.
“I am informed that the committee has been making serious effort to get in touch with him (Nwabudike) and at one point he was refusing the committee’s notices to appear. I’m told they (committee) are wending up their report and sometime this week we will have the report ready. And upon that report, the National Executive Council will meet and determine the course of action.”
Cllr. Livingstone further stated that notice posted by the LNBA is a tentative listing and not the final listing of qualified lawyers.
“It should not be misunderstood that when his name is on the list that has been sent, it means he is in good standing to practice law in Liberia, let me make that clear. There are elements required to practice law under the new regulation adopted in 2020 by the National Executive Council and part of that requirement is to be in good standing financially and you must have attained a requisite continue education of credits, which is 10 credits per annual,” he said.
He continued: “So, it means somebody name can be on that list but when the license comes, the person may not get license to practice although their name shows that they have paid the bar due for 2020 but it doesn’t mean that person is in good standing to practice.”