The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Contradicting His Directive! -Will Weah’s Gov’t Replace Justice Nagbe?

Information within the judicial corridors says President George M. Weah has accepted Justice Joseph Nagbe’s early retirement and is poised to nominate Justice Minister, Frank Musa Dean, as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
But according to the President’s directive, all new employment and service contracts across government institutions are hereby suspended with immediate effect, and that there shall be no promotions or salary increments during this transition period.
According to the President, the directive, which covers all government entities, including Ministries, Agencies, Commissions, and State-owned Enterprises, is intended to safeguard State resources during the transition period, from December 18, 2023 to January 10, 2024, given the current financial and economic situation of the country, and to safeguard State resources from misuse during this transition period.
Justice Nagbe, who has been battling his illness long before his appointment by President Weah, tendered in his early retirement in admittance to his inability to perform his task as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, if executed, the President will be in total violation of his recent mandate to all government officials, and many are made to believe that it is because of these last-minute deals that he had requested an additional 10-day extension for the Legislative sitting of the sixth session of the 54th Legislature.
It is whispered that the President’s extension is further aimed at placing before the current Liberian Senate, Dean’s nomination, for possible confirmation before the closure of that August body.
If that is the case, most of those in the 54th Legislature have already been retired by their constituents, so to sit and make any law during this period, when they have been booted out, might place a burden on the incoming government or be detrimental to the incoming lawmakers and the country in general.
Howbeit, President Weah’s directive further advised government entities, including Ministries, Agencies, Commissions, and State-owned Enterprises, to take due cognizance and give effect to all borrowings, accumulation of new debts, and repayment of domestic debts; except international borrowings with legislative implications and timeline, are hereby suspended.
President Weah also directs that all expenditures, save for salaries and allowances, for daily operations of all Government Ministries and other Government Entities, in the amount of US$10,000 and above, must be approved by the Office of the President.
“All payments of bonuses, severance allowances, and incentives to members of the Board of Directors, Managing Directors, Deputy Managing Directors, and all other Officials of similar standing in the employ of State-Owned Enterprises, Commissions, and other Autonomous Agencies of the government, must have prior approval by the Office of the President,” the directive stated.
The nine-count decree concludes that: “All sales and leases of public land, buildings, and infrastructure, are hereby suspended. All new investment incentives and granting of concessions are hereby suspended. All official travels are suspended, except those approved by the Office of the President. A moratorium is placed on the holding of the 2023 National County Sports Meet due to the inter-locking schedule of the transition and a moratorium is placed on the sale and illegal conceding of all public vehicles and other government assets and utilities.”
The Director General of the General Services Agency, Mary T. Broh, has been mandated to continue the tracking and search of all government assets accordingly.
It can be recalled that former US President, Barack Obama, with 10 months to the end of his presidency, similarly nominated Merrick Garland as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America, following the death of Antonin Scalia.
However, the Senate’s majority leader, Mitch McConnell, said he would consider the appointment and any other appointment coming from Obama, then President, as null and void.
Senator McConnell was firm on the next Supreme Court Justice being appointed by the President to be elected during the country’s pending elections between former President, Donald Trump, and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
It is incumbent upon members of the Liberian Senate to either confirm or reject the President’s latest appointment, as was done by senators in the United States Congress led by Senator McConnell against President Obama, whose nomination of an Associate Justice, 10 months to the end his presidency, was rejected.

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