The Supreme Court of Liberia didn’t mince its words here when it ordered the arrest of the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel Tweah, for obstructing functions of the judiciary. That’s how things have gone so bad in the government of President George Weah.
“By directive of the full bench of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia, you are hereby commanded to arrest the living body of Samuel D. Tweah, Minister of Finance,” a writ dated November 7, 2022, from the High Court, read.
Minister Tweah is reportedly out of the country, but this is strange for the final arbiter of justice in the land to go after a sitting member of the cabinet. Tweah is being wanted to show cause why he should not be held in contempt for hindering functions of the Liberian judiciary.
The move by the Supreme Court indicates how things have gone from bad to worse in the Weah administration. It also clearly exposes how the Executive Branch of government has taken the Judicial Branch for granted.
Minister Tweah has presented himself as someone trying to hide something or an untouchable in government. He is wanted by the Liberian Legislature to respond to ongoing corruption at the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) as head of the Board of this entity. Members of the Legislature have also invited him to account for US$11 million allotted to subsidize rice importation in the country. He is yet to appear and provide answers to these concerns.
The arrest order from the Supreme Court seems to be the last straw that would break the camel’s back, as it regards the Finance boss having his way across the government that contains three separate, but coordinated branches.
The post of Minister of Finance is sacred and should be held that way. But what is obtaining in this administration with Minister Tweah rolling things as business as usual clearly leaves much to be desired.
As Minister of Finance, he should conduct his public activities with a high degree of respect and trust, rather than allowing himself to be summoned here and there by the other two branches of government.
The onus is on the Finance boss to demonstrate beyond all doubt that he has the depth of maturity that is necessary to continue to occupy that sacred office that presides over the nation’s fiscal activities. Anything short of this is a betrayal of the public’s trust, as unfolding circumstances seem to indicate.
The sooner Tweah recognizes this and acts accordingly, the better it would be, not only for his own credibility but to save the entire government from more grievous embarrassment.