On What Moral Ground Are You Accepting Your Appointment, Cllr. Gibson?

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The administration of President George Weah has in recent days been busy with two major activities—appointment of public officials to do the Liberian people’s work and confirmation process of these officials through the Liberian Senate.

Constitutionally, the Senate undertakes the confirmation process by scrutinizing an official through examining his/her academic credentials and moral character. This is the process that the Justice Minister-designate, Cllr. Charles Gibson, is undergoing following his appointment as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Liberia.

When Cllr. Gibson appeared before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Claims and Petitions on January 31, 2018, our Senate Correspondent, J. Burgess Carter, reported that the Justice Minister-designate proposed that the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), the Law Reform Commission (LRC), and the Governance Commission (GC) should be dissolved or revisited for reorganization.

On this matter, according to our Correspondent, the Justice Minister-designate charged that despite US$20 million allotments to the LACC, it is yet to be on record for prosecuting a case of corruption in Liberia. But the LACC, in a press conference last Thursday, effectively defended itself.

It is also interesting to note that the Senate Committee did not also shrink from asking Cllr. Gibson about his moral character and integrity, especially on the issue of corruption in which he has been involved, having been convicted and later suspended from legal practice by the Supreme Court of Liberia.

Responding to a question as to whether or not he has the integrity and morality to take on the position of Justice Minister of the Republic, considering his involvement in duping his client of US$25,400, Cllr. Gibson attempted to respond by displaying the ruling from the Supreme Court which he said had cleared him.

Here is a lawyer who was suspended along with his license for duping a client, and commanded by the Supreme Court to repay his client the US$25,400 he owed the said client, but flatly refused to pay the amount which he had committed to his personal use. But Cllr. Gibson hurriedly raised the amount and paid it only after he learned that he was about to be appointed Justice Minister-designate, which would make him Dean of the Supreme Court Bar.

Does Cllr. Gibson’s conscience guide him against wrongdoing? or does he care at all about morals? Does he honor and respect the Supreme Court? Is he faithful to his clients as a lawyer? If so, then why did he eat his client’s money?

Having fallen from grace by willfully cheating his clients, and also having ignored the ruling of the Supreme Court that he should repay the US$25,400, and having hurried to honor the Court’s ruling only after he learned of his appointment as Justice Minister, with what conscience and moral capability does he accept this position?

It is our considered opinion that Counselor Gibson should respectfully decline this appointment and accord the President of Liberia the opportunity of naming a more reputable person to this position. Do not embarrass our President by causing him to name to such a lofty and highly reputable position a man who was dishonorably and shamefully removed by the very Legal Bar of which, as Justice Minister, he stands to be Dean.

This would be a travesty (mockery, sham) of justice.

Counselor Gibson, do not force the hand of President Weah to withdraw this appointment. Just tell him, “Sorry, Sir; I hereby decline the nomination, and I thank you for having thought of me.”

But if the counselor lacks the integrity of asking that his name be withdrawn, we strongly suggest that the Liberian Senate should NOT confirm his nomination. By so doing, the Senate would let it be known that it is setting our Presidency to a higher standard. This would be good for Liberia.

It would help President Weah to make good his pledge that he would not tolerate any corrupt practices in his government.

Let us remember that the Ministry of Justice is one of the PRIME integrity institutions in the government. The first place anyone suspected of corrupt practices is sent to is the Ministry of Justice for investigation. The Ministry, therefore, cannot, must not be headed by one convicted by the highest legal arbiter of the land, the Supreme Court of Liberia.

Confirming Counselor Charles Gibson as Minister of Justice and Attorney General would send a very wrong signal, which President Weah and his government will one day regret.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Mr. Best, Cllr. Gibson or anyone in Cllr. Gibson´s case should be accepting his appointment on the moral ground that no one is perfect, and we all are sinners! Hence, all of us make mistakes as taught By Jesus when he told someone in a similar position as Cllr. Gibson: “NEITHER DO I CONDEMN THEE! GO AND SIN NO MORE!”

    In other words, Mr. Best:

    Let justice be done to all men” trumpets our Supreme Court of Justice!!! And so does Article 11 c of our Constitution prescribes that: “All persons are equal before the law and are therefore entitled to the equal protection of the law.” Accordingly, nedless to say how these applies to the standards and principles of universal ethics and morals.

    Therefore, it is absolutely wrong that we as a nation should inflict this bizarre collective prejudice, injustice, and impermissible discrimination against an individual while according to our standards and principles within this context, we temper mercy with justice and reasoning, more so when the individual or public official said to have had “ethical problems” within his or her professional functions has not been indicted nor convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction.

    Expli gratia: Liberia´s justice czar– His Honor Justice Philip A.Z. Banks, not too long ago had some “ethical problems” involving thousands of US Dollars owned by a Nigerian businessman Chief Ayika. Notwithstanding, we tempered mercy with justice and appointed Cllr. Banks as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of our nation. As we write, we have positioned Cllrs. Varney Sherman, and Fonati Kofa on the two most powerful judiciary committees on law and justice within the Legislative Branch as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, and the Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary respectively…one a convict, the other an indictee in an ongoing criminal case.

    So, if we can be tollerant enough to these three public officials whose functions and ranks within government are as strategic and very powerful, or even more strategic and even more powerful (eg. Justice of the Supreme Court) than the position of a minister of justice, we must immediately stop this discrimination and collective prejudice against Cllr. Gibson who eventhough has had similar or even less “ethical problems” as other public officials, but HAVE NOT been indicted nor convicted!

  2. Mr. Best, Cllr. Gibson or anyone in Cllr. Gibson´s case should be accepting his appointment on the moral ground that no one is perfect, and we all are sinners! Hence, all of us make mistakes as taught By Jesus when he told someone in a similar position as Cllr. Gibson: “NEITHER DO I CONDEMN THEE! GO AND SIN NO MORE!”

    In other words, Mr. Best:

    Let justice be done to all men” trumpets our Supreme Court of Justice!!! And so does Article 11 c of our Constitution prescribe that: “All persons are equal before the law and are therefore entitled to the equal protection of the law.” Accordingly, needless to say how these APPLY to the standards and principles of universal ethics and morals.

    Therefore, it is absolutely wrong that we as a nation should inflict this bizarre collective prejudice, injustice, and impermissible discrimination against an individual while according to our standards and principles within this context, we temper mercy with justice and reasoning, more so when the individual or public official said to have had “ethical problems” within his or her professional functions has not been indicted nor convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction.

    Expli gratia: Liberia´s justice czar– His Honor Justice Philip A.Z. Banks, not too long ago had some “ethical problems” involving thousands of US Dollars owned by a Nigerian businessman Chief Ayika. Notwithstanding, we tempered mercy with justice and appointed Cllr. Banks as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of our nation. As we write, we have positioned Cllrs. Varney Sherman, and Fonati Kofa on the two most powerful judiciary committees on law and justice within the Legislative Branch as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, and the Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary respectively…one a convict, the other an indictee in an ongoing criminal case.

    So, if we can be tollerant enough to these three public officials whose functions and ranks within government are as strategic and very powerful, or even more strategic and even more powerful (eg. Justice of the Supreme Court) than the position of a minister of justice, we must immediately stop this discrimination and collective prejudice against Cllr. Gibson; who eventhough has had similar or even less “ethical problems” as other public officials, but HAVE NOT been indicted nor convicted!

    • Mr. Doe, the individuals/cases as examples you mentioned here are not analogous to your man Gibson’s criminal record. Neither Philip Banks nor Varney Sherman were found liable for pilfering and sanctioned by any court in Liberia to restitute the amounts in question. So your campaign for your friend, this Gibson criminal is porous and shallow! Meanwhile, Gibson is not only morally bankrupt but legally incompetent and not law abiding, period! Such a man who has no scruples in his being cannot be the chief law enforcer for Liberia. If this guy could defy a Supreme Court order to restitute an embezzled amount, then what law in Liberia will he regard for what its worth? Let Gibson serve as personal lawyer or legal advisor to president Weah, if Weah thinks he’s that good.

  3. Mr. Snyder, you have no argument; not to talk about conclusion. Hence we cannot waste time with you. By the way, we do not know Cllr. Gibson. But even if we knew him, we would be proud to know him. We advance arguments and conclusions whenever we see injustice. We did it for this very Varney Sherman (whom we do not know also) when the Supreme Court and State prosecutors chose to deny him his right to confront his accusers in a case in which he Sherman was given a criminal indictment By the Criminal Court in Liberia.

    • Well, Mr. Doe, with all your so-called “arguments and conclusions” yet, your side lost in this debate. Your friend Gibson’s name was withdrawn as nominee for the post under discussion. Meaning, our outcry about his repugnant and revulsive character prevailed over yours and cabal’s attempt to portray him as upright, sincere and honorable to be considered for such symbolic office. Symbolic in the sense that the office of Justice Minister of a country represents, or ought to represent the standard and quality of the law and its proponents in that society. The fact that people like you, were rooting for a man of Gibson’s unscrupulous and reprobate character to be appointed as justice minister of Liberia, says a lot about your own character. Obviously roguish and unprincipled as well. Logical conclusion!

      PS: Now you cannot say I “have no argument and conclusion,” can you?

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