The embattled Chairman of the LACC, Cllr. Augustine Ndubusi Nwabudike
By J. Burgess Carter
The plenary of the Liberian Senate through a unanimous hand count vote, yesterday requested its leadership to submit reports of findings contained in a delayed committee report on the controversial confirmation hearing on Cllr. Ndubusi Nwabudike to the post of chairman of the National Elections Commission.
The Senate’s decision followed a request from Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon to the Leadership of the Senate to report to plenary on findings of the alleged forged nationality documents of the Liberian Anti-Corruption Commission head.
In his motion followed by almost an hour of debate, Grand Bassa County Senator Jonathan L. Kaipay, requested that the Leadership of the Liberian Senate be made to report findings of the matter based on a report presented to the Senate Pro-Tempore yesterday by the chairman of the Committee on Autonomous Commission and Agencies, Senator J. Milton Teahjay.
During the debate, Senator Dillon recalled that when the embattled LACC boss filed a petition for declaratory judgment before the courts after the issue of his citizenship was raised, “The Minister of Justice of Liberia filed a return on behalf of the government of Liberia, challenging Nwabudike’s claims of being a citizen, meaning that the Executive is aware that the man is not a citizen.”
But in a brief reaction to Senator Dillon’s assertion, Pro-Temp Albert Chie described his statement as unfortunate for him (Dillon) to claim that the Senate Leadership neglected its responsibility; “The Liberian Senate Leadership does not move by emotions; this is a very legal matter that needs to be studied carefully.”
“Therefore, the Senate’s leadership is still looking into the matter, and will revert to plenary on the issue when it had been determined,” said Pro-Temp Chie. For his part, Gbarpolu County Senator, Daniel Naatehn, intimated that the failure of the Senate committee on Autonomous Commissions and Agencies to inform plenary on the outcome of the confirmation hearing on Nwabudike’s nomination to head the National Elections Commission; “I think it is to undermine the decision of the Senate; if the confirmation report has been done, and Nwabudike rejected, that would have been the reason stated in that report. But because they did not want plenary to take decision on the matter, Senate Leadership told the committee not to make a report.”
Displaying a countenance of disappointment, River Gee County Senator Jonathan Boye Charles Sogbie, declared: “Quite honestly it is very disheartening, in my opinion, to continue to hear this issue of Nwabudike in Liberia; I hear the Pro-Temp saying that there are legal implications. If the Attorney General of this country can stand to say that this man is not qualified, why are we attaching legality to this matter? We should not be wasting our time and the Liberian people’s time on this one issue of Nwabudike. Let plenary make a decision and remove this man from this position, simple as that.”
The chairman who conducted the confirmation hearing on Nwabudike, Senator Teahjay, asserted that the issue surrounding him is reaching a level where it could lynch so many of them (Senators); “And I think the political fallout, the damage is enough; we should not allow this issue to go beyond where it has gone.”
Senator Teahjay recalled that under oath, Cllr. Nwabudike produced three birth dates, which caused the abrupt disruption of the hearing and wondered what are they, Senators, waiting for, disagreeing with what he described as legal technicalities, when the person in charge of prosecuting our laws, the Attorney General, came publicly and said Nwabudike is not a citizen; with the courts presenting a report that they could not find citizenship documents of Nwabudike and, in their judgment, he was not a citizen of Liberia.
Meanwhile, the Senate Leadership is mandated to make a final report on the documents submitted by the committee on Autonomous Commissions and Agencies next Thursday.
Culled from Daily Observer.