“Dissolve LACC, LRC, Governance Commission “

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Justice Minister-designate, Cllr. Charles Gibson, being sworn as witness during his confirmation hearing at the Senate chamber

Justice Minister-designate, Cllr. Charles Gibson, says at confirmation hearing

President George Weah’s embattled nominee for the post of Justice Minister, yesterday told Senate confirmation hearing that the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission(LACC), the Law Reform Commission (LRC) and the Governance Commission (GC), need to either be dissolved or revisited for reorganization.

Cllr. Charles Gibson facing a marathon grilling from the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Claims and Petitions yesterday told the Varney Sherman-chaired committee that the LACC in particular, despite an annual budgetary allocation of US$20 million, has not been able to prosecute a single case.

“Instead of spending that huge amount every time without results, the government can contract services of five leading local law firms and pay them US$50,000 annually to help speedy prosecution of those found culpable of corrupt deeds,” Cllr. Gibson proposed.
Cllr. Gibson told the hearing that his suggestion came after the transition team of President Weah visited the LACC and held discussions with its members who even agreed that the team of five should be reduced to three.

The Justice Minister-designate asserted that the Justice Ministry’s inability to successfully prosecute accused individuals is due to the lack of well trained investigators, police or the NBI, “and unless more attention is paid to the investigating divisions of government, it will be difficult for successful prosecution of corrupt individuals; but when I am confirmed, emphasis will be placed on areas which I believe will help government with its pro-poor agenda.”

On the highly debated issue of whether he thinks he has the integrity as Attorney General to prosecute ordinary people who may face similar situations of financial misapplication he had earlier faced, Cllr. Gibson attempted a response by displaying the ruling from the Supreme Court which he said cleared him, even though that same body slapped him with a two-month suspension of his license.

“I believe I am most qualified for this position, and despite the misrepresentation of the fact regarding the Supreme Court ruling, I can assure you that I have no integrity problem and I promise to make the Justice Ministry the best in recent years. What I did is in line with what has been practiced regarding lawyer and client financial arrangements; I respect the Supreme Court ruling, but I have the conviction that one day that ruling will be revisited by another bench of the Court,” Cllr. Gibson said.

Earlier, the Defense Minister-designate Retired Major General Daniel Dee Ziankahn, and Chief of Staff-designate of the Armed Forces of Liberia, Major Prince C. Johnson, separately appeared before the Senate Committee on Defense, Intelligence, Security and Veteran Affairs in the Chamber of the Senate.

Retired General Ziankahn during question and answer period clarified that unlike the United States Army where retired Generals are not qualified for civilian appointments until after seven years of retirement, “there is no such provision within our Constitution, and my retirement and subsequent nomination was in line with the mandate of the President and Commander-In-Chief of the AFL.”

On the recent issue of the alleged misuse of money collected from soldiers’ salaries for incidentals and other benefits, Mr. Ziankahn said the issue was resolved through the intervention of both the former and current Presidents, that the current government will pay back whatever was reportedly misused. “As a former and retired soldier, I welcome the decision because I will benefit from it now that I am retired. ”

Meanwhile, it is expected that the two committees will fast track the process by reporting recommendations to the plenary for their votes for confirmation of the designated officials.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Really Mr. Gibson? I don’t think so. When I think of the hundreds of thousands of Liberian that lost their’s lives only for a continuation of the same thing, it really makes me cry. They were my family and friends. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her family and friends got their and now it’s time for you and your family and friends right Mr. President? Please withdraw the nomination of your Justice Minister now.

  2. I thought this guy’s name was dropped ever since the public outcry over his nomination as Justice Minister. The CDC constantly criticized and condemned the Ellen Sirleaf administration for corruption and mismanagement of the country resources. And that it would represent a major shift from that way of doing things. Then it nominates someone with a history of embezzling his clients’ money? Embezzlement happens to be stealing, dishonesty, fraud, petty larceny and above all, CORRUPTION! And one simple way to fight corruption is the simple impression the public gets from the caliber of new public officials that indeed, things have changed. But with someone with the discredited reputation of a crook like this sleazy Gibson man, who will be afraid to try their luck just as he? And we cannot sit idly by and let George Wean have his way with our country by extension our lives just because he’s president. After all it will be our lives at stake when things Chakla again as in recent memory. So if president Wean knows what we know or want, he better nominate another friend or CDCian, for whatever the motivation for sticking with this crook. Is this guy the only one in CDC for this job? That’s an affront to our collective sensitivity!

    • This man is a complete moron. too stupid to know that the creation of LACC is due to the UN Convention Against Corruption and is a multilateral treaty negotiated by member states. In simple English, da means da all countries as members need to have one. Now, mr. Thief thiefe, do you understand why it exists?

  3. How in the world can Varney Sherman be a member of or chair any comittee on intergrity when he is a crooke and a thief himself? When will prosecuting him and others begin on their $950,000 bribery case?

  4. Or because of his past unclean record, a middle-level job would have been okay. I understand the guy has to eat and put bread and butter on the table for his family, but, an elevation to a prestigious position such as that is kind of sluggish.

    So far, fairly good steps have been taken. My advice is this: Get off the slippery road. Find a safe solid ground.

  5. I’m disappointed by the senate for allowing Cllr Sherman to head the judiciary committee when he’s under investigation by the Liberia government. This senator must resign his position until the investigation is complete.

  6. Comrade Kollie,
    You’re spot on. Be reminded that the system is badly rigged.

    If a lady from the West Point ghetto is caught in a $200-bribery scandal, she will be locked up. But, if a $500,000-bribery scandal erupts in the legislature, the eyes of the law will need a surgery in order to be able to see. As long as there is high class malfeasance, unequal justice will prevail.

    It’s very sad. But, that’s the way things are.

  7. It is said that the more things change , the more they stay the same. No systemic changes have been put in place to give power back to the people. Until then, let’s enjoy the old wine in new bottle. Cheers !!!!!

  8. This man is a complete moron. too stupid to know that the creation of LACC is due to the UN Convention Against Corruption and is a multilateral treaty negotiated by member states. In simple English, da means da all countries as members need to have one. Now, mr. Thief thiefe, do you understand why it exists?

  9. Anderson,
    I will not call him a moron. I may disagree with him, but the use of a polemic as a way of expressing my disgust is not the best thing to do or say. Times change. Maybe, money could be saved by dissolving LACC and other organizations. Maybe, because of the changing times, LACC and others were no longer helpful. My only concern is that those who were employed may have lost their jobs already.

    I think that the Weah administration needs a competent national security staff in the office of the ministry of state for presidential affairs. The hired competent staff will do damage control. The elimination of LACC and others validates my point. The public needs to be fully informed as to why a closure is necessary.

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