Counselor Charles Gibson shakes hands with colleagues
NEW YORK––Liberia’s president George Weah has succumbed to calls and pressure to replace his private lawyer and justice minister-designate, Counselor Charles Gibson who many accused of alleged deceptive legal practice involving taking money from his clients in a dubious fashion.
Local Liberian media institutions, citing sources from the public and victims reported that Counselor Charles Gibson was stripped of his law license for embezzling a client’s fund.
Counselor Gibson, a dutiful, learned and high-profile legal mind, had been previously suspended by the Supreme Court of Liberia for duping one of his clients out of $25,000 United States dollars. Even though he has repaid the amount, public opinion in Liberia remained divided regarding his fitness for the position of justice minister based on the accusations.
In a statement from the presidency, it maintains that Counselor Gibson’s nomination was withdrawn “with immediate effect.”
Adding, that has been replaced by Counselor Musa Dean, who was previously a lawyer for the National Elections Commission (NEC) during last presidential election between then-Senator Weah and former Vice President Joseph Boakai.
The withdrawer of Gibson’s nomination is viewed as a political setback for the new president considering that he has been a trusted legal confidant to the new Liberian leader.
Some international political observers say: “selective justice” remains one of Liberia’s pitfall. If punishing Gibson for a possible “felony” crime involving some transaction of the lawyer-client relationship is that serious, then Liberians who refused to revisit the Truth and Reconciliation’s (TRC) reports are hypocrites.
The TRC’s report called for the prosecution and reprimand of those who have committed crimes against humanity in Liberia as well as those who engaged in economic crimes.
Millions of dollars have been stolen and deposited in private accounts belonging ex-Liberian government officials and their associates during the administration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Some of the people with terrifying human rights and economic crimes records in Liberia are said to be holding positions that demand high credibility while others are denied such opportunity.