Liberia: Charles Gibson Breaks Confirmation Barrier – Sails Through as Minister of Labor

Cllr. Gibson’s nomination to the position marks  his third nomination for a government position since President George Weah Assumed the Presidency, after nearly three years of his leadership.

Monrovia – The Senate Committee on Labor has recommended to plenary the confirmation of Cllr.  Charles Gibson to the Position of Minister of Labor, clearing the way for Cllr. Gibson to secure his first ministerial post on his third try.

In the Committee’s wisdom, it found Cllr. Gibson qualified and competent for the Job after it said it looked into other information about his character.

Cllr. Gibson will assume the mandate as Labor Minister succeeding, Mr. Moses Kollies who has been appointed as Director General of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA).

The committee’s report said after a careful review process of the nominee credential and background investigation, it found the nominee competent and qualified for the position. “We therefore recommend to plenary of the senate the confirmation of Mr. Charles Gibson as Minister of Labor.”

Cllr. Gibson’s nomination to the position marks  his third nomination for a government position since President George Weah Assumed the Presidency, after nearly three years of his leadership.

Cllr. Gibson was hanging on a thread in hopes that his third try would see him finally land a Cabinet minister post.

 Prior to the recent nomination, Mr. Gibson was nominated to the position of Justice Minister and Board chairman of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), but his first two nominations were hindered by his past record bordering on acts of corruption and ineligibility for the nominated post.

Sympathy for Gibson

Last Thursday, Cllr. Gibson faced the Liberian Senate Committee on Labor, chaired by Senator Matthew Jay (IND-River Gee County). But even before the committee could begin line of questioning for the nominee, Senator Milton Teahjay(Unity Party, Sinoe) pleaded with his colleagues for mercy on behalf of the nominee.

According to Senator Teahjay, Cllr. Gibson has been denied two times by the Senate, and according to him, Gibson is a family man who has responsibility to take care of his family and that for the past three years Gibson has been without a Job.

Said Senator Teahjay: “This is Cllr. Gibson third appearance here. A good number of senators have been able to review his credential and know that he is qualified. This is an appeal to my colleagues; it is an appeal from my heart. I know what existence means in the absence of employment.”

Added Senator Teahjay: “All of us are men, fathers and know what it means to be without job. This is a time for this Senate to show compassion and put ourselves in his shoes to give him the chance to prove himself beyond what we have been hearing and for which he has been repeatedly recall. We should not allow him to be recalled this time. We cannot allow our friend to perish with all his qualification. My appeal is please let’s give him the opportunity this time to serve.”

Senator Teahjay is on record stating that as chairman of the Senate Autonomous Agencies Committee, he bargains with nominees for slots in their various entities for employment of his confidants before confirming them. Since that admission, Senator Teahjay was replaced by Senator Henrique Tokpah(Independent, Bong) as chair on the committee.

In another confirmation hearing Wednesday, involving the Deputy Minister of Commerce designate, George Wolo and Deputy for Industry, Thomas Goba, Senator Teahjay was on record pleading with the nominee from the Ministry of Commerce to allot slot for appointment for his supporters. “The vacancies are not only for your relatives and friends or Partisans, we too are from counties with young people. I will vote for you to be confirm but you should keep in mind that we too have people that need jobs.”

A FrontPageAfrica investigative report on Cllr. Gibson’s background raised public concerns which led to the withdrawal of his nomination on February 7, 2018 after a delayed confirmation hearing.

FrontPageAfrica had unearth that the Supreme Court Grievance and Ethics Committee established that Cllr. Gibson misappropriated US$25,322.00 from a client, which led to his two-month suspension from direct and indirect practice of law by the Supreme Court in the bailiwick of Liberia in 2017.

The Committee’s report showed that the proceedings started from a 2013 final judgment rendered by the Debt Court for Montserrado County, awarding the complainant, GECCO represented by its president, Mr. Anwar Saoud, the amount of US$286,200.00 (Two Hundred Eighty-Six Thousand, Two Hundred United States Dollars) against the Global Bank Liberia Ltd. 

FrontPageAfrica also discovered that Gibson lost his job at the United Nations Mission in Liberia for allegedly shortchanging one of his clients in a land deal.

Two years on, Cllr. Gibson was again nominated as the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) Board Chairman in February this year but the Senate refused to confirm him. The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources headed by George Tengbeh of Lofa County stated that he was not eligible and qualified for the position.