Presidential Press Secretary Sam Mannah says prior to the appointment of former Justice Minister - designate Cllr. Charles Gibson, President George Manneh Weah “was put under the impression” that the former nominee had settled all of his issues.
“... But to the dismay of the president after the appointment was made, this issue was not settled. So it’s not just that the president was responding to the public outcry, but it’s a combination of that and combination of … doing the right thing,” he said Friday, 9 February in Monrovia.
Cllr. Gibson’s nomination was recalled following a wave of criticism against him for some “lawyer - client” deal that was said to still have some integrity issue against him up to the time President Weah named the lawyer as Liberia’s Justice Minister last month.
Mr. Mannah told press briefing last Friday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the impression the president was put under was that the former Justice Minister - designate had settled all of his issues with the Liberia Bar Association and the Supreme Court.
The Press Secretary says the right thing to do is you have somebody who is going to be an Attorney - General and will be entrusted to prosecute cases especially with the fight against corruption being centerpiece of the president’s agenda.
As such, he believes that you cannot put somebody that has integrity issue hanging over them into such position.
“So the president felt that in the best interest of the Liberian people, the best thing to have done was to recall the nomination since the former Justice Minister - designate still had this whole issue with the Bar Association and with the Supreme Court ongoing,” he says.
Beside, Mr. Mannah says the public was not satisfied with the appointment because they didn’t believe that Cllr. Gibson was the best person to hold that position because of the integrity issue.
In the wisdom of the president, Mr. Mannah says he felt that it was the best thing to do to recall the nomination of Cllr. Gibson who the press secretary says is a long term advisor to President Weah.
He urges the public to commend President Weah for the bold step, clarifying that President Weah is not going to just succumb to public outcry but will respond to issues when there is a just cause to do so.
Additionally, Mr. Mannah says President weah is studying the situation with the Health Minister - designate Doctor Wilhemina Jallah whose nomination is equally being opposed by some Liberians, saying the president is gravely concerned.
Mr. Mannah clarifies that Doctor Jallah has not been found culpable of crime, though there is an allegation levied against her in court. Doctor Jallah is facing some oppositions to serve as Health Minister here due to the death of a lady Desiree Fahnbulleh at the nominee’s privately - run Women of Hope Hospital last year. Mr. Mannah says regarding whether Doctor Jallah will be recalled or not, he cannot tell right now.
By Winston W. Parley