Cllr. James Verdier has been sacked. The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) Chair received the marching order on Tuesday, February 26, days after he wrote what appear to be a demeaning response to a request by the office of the president to furnish it with the list of public officials who had filed their assets declaration.
A brief communication issued by the office of the President Tuesday, instructs Cllr. Charles Gibson to take over LACC as Officer-In-Charge (OIC) “until further notice.”
Cllr. Gibson, was President George Weah’s first pick to head the country’s Justice Department but allegations of fraud force the president to with draw his appointment.
However, President Weah as per the communication has instructed Cllr. Gibson to ensure adherence to Section 10.1(d) of the National Code of Conduct.
The provision referenced states that “Every Public Official and Employee of Government involved in making decisions affecting contracting, tendering or procurement, and issuance of licenses of various types shall sign performance or financial bonds and shall in addition declare his or her income, assets and facilities prior to office and thereafter; (d) upon retirement or resignation.”
The directive suggests that Cllr. Verdier will now have to declare his exit assets as per the above mentioned provision of the code of conduct.
Cllr. Verdier’s office and the office of the Minister of State have had exchanges of communications over the battle for assets declaration, with the former appearing to dish out a lesson.
This came days after President Weah told a BBC interview that his assets have not been made public to the Liberian people because “he wants to protect his children’s privacy.”
The President’s interview was followed by an interview with the LACC Chairman, Cllr. James N. Verdier Jr., who indicated that the integrity institution has not been given the necessary support to function.
This may have apparently erupted the cloud of smoke on Thursday February 19, 2019 when the Executive Mansion wrote the LACC requesting the agency to furnish the office of the President with the list of all individuals within government who have declared their assets as required by law.
But Cllr. Verdier responded in a manner like providing a tutorial for the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs.
He told McGill that the president already had what the Minister of State was requesting.
As per the tune of his response, it appears that Cllr. Verdier knew he was not going to be reconsidered for the LACC top job as his tenure comes to an end.