…For Confirmation Hearing Today
By Necus M. Andrews
Three senior officials nominated by President George M. Weah will today appear before the Liberian Senate to justify why they should be confirmed.
The nominated officials include Justice Minister designate Charles Gibson, Defense Minister designate retired Maj/Gen. Daniel Ziankahn and the Chief of Staff-designate of the Armed Forces of Liberia, Brig/Gen. Prince Johnson.
The three men were among seven individuals nominated by President Weah on Tuesday, January 23, 2018, a day after his inauguration.
According to the Senate’s confirmation procedure, each of these nominees will appear before separate committee per their position.
According to the protocol, Defense Minister-designate and the AFL Chief of Staff-designate will appear at 11:00 am before the Senate Committee on National Security, Defense, Intelligence and Veteran Affairs, headed by Senator Thomas Grupee of Nimba County.
Also, the Justice Minister will appear the same day at 2:00 P.M. before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, headed by Senator Varney G. Sherman of Grand Cape Mount County.
Usually, nominees are asked by committees’ members about their qualifications, track records and why they think they are most preferred for the positions.
It is not clear whether the confirmation hearing for these officials will be opened to the public because discussions will border on national security.
Besides the Defense Minister and AFL Chief of Staff designate, the confirmation hearing for the Justice Minister is expected to be though, on grounds that he has credibility issues.
Cllr. Gibson was suspended from practicing law in Liberia 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.
However, the Supreme Court lifted Cllr. Gibson’s suspension last week after he complied with the high Court’s mandate by paying the money. But the integrity of Cllr. Gibson remains questionable.