This paper has received strong indication that heads of tenured agencies of government are to be shortly dismissed by President George Manneh Weah.
The Office of the President rightly told this paper via mobile phone on Monday, February 19, that President Weah will dismiss at will mostly tenured officials of government, affecting the General Auditing Commission (GAC), the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) and the National Social Security Corporation, among others.
The Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill, notes that nobody (official from the former government) should think that they are protected by tenure based on acts that created those institutions, stressing that that the powers of the President solely rest within the 1986 Liberian constitution, which gives him absolute powers to hire and dismiss at will or with cause.
Minister McGill said President Weah is not answerable to anyone in dismissing people who are serving positions in government. He cites Articles 54, 55, and 56, respectively of the Constitution of Liberia, which state: “The President shall nominate and, with the consent of the Senate, appoint and commission (a) cabinet ministers, deputy and assistant cabinet ministers; (b) ambassadors, ministers, consuls; and (c) the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court and judges of subordinate courts; (d) superintendents, other county officials and officials of other political sub-divisions; (e) members of the military from the rank of lieutenant or its equivalent and above; and (f) marshals, deputy marshals, and sheriffs.
Article 55 of the Constitution says, “The President shall appoint and commission Notaries, Public and Justices of the Peace who shall hold office for a term of two years but may be removed by the President for cause. They shall be eligible for appointment.
Article 56; (a) All cabinet ministers, deputy and assistant cabinet ministers, ambassadors, ministers and consuls, superintendents of counties and other government officials, both military and civilian, appointed by the President pursuant to this Constitution shall hold their offices at the pleasure of the President.
McGill maintains that there is no law or treaties that are bigger than the Liberian Constitution, meaning that the constitution supersedes all acts, treaties and legal instruments.
According to him, the Constitution is the organic law of the land, which President Weah squarely relies on in discharging his functions as chief administrator of the land and not, how someone thinks.
President Weah recently mandated officials holding tenure posts to submit official documents to his office. It is not known how many of the officials concerned have complied, accordingly.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne