Lawyers representing Justice Minister designate Charles Gibson in a Petition to restore his status as Counselor at-law have told Justices of the Supreme Court that their client had until recently been unable to restitute Anwar A. Saoud’s US$25,400 because he was broke, not having earned income since his suspension by the Court about one-year ago.
In response to questions about Gibson’s prolonged delay to honor the Supreme Court’s mandate, Counselor Emmanuel James, lead lawyer for the accused said his client’s belated payment of Saoud’s US$25,000 was not due to any privy information that he would be appointed Justice Minister by President Weah but rather to his client’s state of penury (impoverishment). He said his client had to rally with his colleagues and friends to raise the amount in order to satisfy the ruling of the court.
Gibson reportedly made the payment to Saoud on January 17, 2018, just six days before President Weah nominated him to serve as the country’s new Minister of Justice.
The Supreme Court also reinstated his license that was suspended on February 24, 2017, which had since then barred him from practicing law.
Gibson was suspended from practicing law in the country for two months on February 24, 2017 by the Supreme Court based on findings of the Grievance and Ethics Committee of the Bar.
The committee had charged him for misleading his client on whose behalf he had instituted a series of lawsuits to recover loans and other obligations from his customers. But Gibson was unable to account for the US$25,400 he had earlier collected.
The Supreme Court ordered him to refund Saoud’s US$25,400 within two months as of the date of the judgment on February 24 2017.
He was also asked to send copy of the receipt of payment to the Court Marshall and failure on his part as specified by the judgment warranted his suspension remaining in full and effect, until he fully complied with the order, which he only did on January 17, 2018.
Up to present, it appears that President Weah’s nomination of Cllr. Gibson to head the Justice Ministry stills stands, as the President has issued no official statement on his nominee’s current suspension from practice by the Supreme Court of Liberia.