Weah Under Pressure to Withdraw Nominee for Justice Minister

MONROVIA, Montserrado – President George Weah’s nominee for justice minister is raising concerns about the new president’s commitment to fighting corruption, after reports that the designate for the post, Charles Gibson, has a history of questionable integrity.

According to reports, Gibson, a counselor-at-law, lost his license to practice law in the country after being found guilty of duping a client of more than US$25,000 last year.

The Daily Observer reported in February 2017 that the nominee for attorney general instituted several lawsuits to recover loans and other business remittances for his client, Anwar A. Saoud, from which he embezzled the amount.

His action was reportedly in breach of the rules that govern client-lawyer relationships and which forbid lawyers from taking advantage of a client’s confidence to seek personal benefits. The Supreme Court suspended his license as a result.

A court source told The Bush Chicken that after Gibson completed a refund of the amount he embezzled on January 6, 2018, the Supreme Court today restored Gibson’s right to practice. Gibson had petitioned the Court for the decision upon completing the payment.

But with this history, several organizations and individuals have criticized Weah’s nomination.

A pro-democracy group, the Liberia Holding Consortium, has launched a petition to call on Weah to stick to his commitment to fight corruption and other vices that kept the country backward by withdrawing the nomination of individuals with questionable character.

Making reference to the justice minister designate, the group’s principal, Abdullai Kamara, said Weah cannot fight corruption by bringing in people accused of corruption or those perceived to have been engaged in corrupt acts.

He said he was getting the larger Liberian society to express their views through the petition in the hope that it would lead the president to take prompt actions.

In his inaugural speech, Weah promised to end corruption.

Featured photo by Gbatemah Senah

Gbatemah Senah

Senah is a graduate of the University of Liberia and a recipient of the Jonathan P. Hicks Scholarship for Mass Communications. Between 2017 and 2019, he won six excellent reporting awards from the Press Union of Liberia. They include a three-time Land Rights Reporter of the Year, one time Women's Rights Reporter of the Year, Legislative Reporter of the Year, and Human Rights Reporter of the Year.

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