9 May 2016

Liberia: Cherue Takes over Huge Challenges - Named Justice Minister; Can He Cope?

A former legislator and senior member of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA), Cllr. Frederick Cherue has been designated Minister of Justice by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf pending his confirmation by the Liberian Senate.

The former River-Gee County Senator goes to the Ministry of Justice where he will serve as Attorney General of the Republic of Liberia with a wealth of experience in the legal professional as a former law lawmaker, a practicing Supreme Court lawyer, a Director of the Dugbe Law Firm.  The Attorney-General designate who retired from public service 2011 having served the 52nd Legislature of Liberia is considered by President Sirleaf after the resignation of an astute human right lawyer, Cllr Benedict Sannoh under circumstances that are yet to be explained to the public.
Cllr. Sannoh resigned in the wake of public criticisms against the police on the alleged murder of a girl in police custody in Banjul at the outskirt of Monrovia.

Although the police consistently claimed that the girl had committed suicide by hanging herself, human rights and civil society investigative findings as well as autopsy reports commissioned by the government disproved police claims that the girl has hanged herself. Cllr. Cherue is also going to the Ministry at the time that the United Nations Mission in Liberia is drawing down its security services, turning over the country’s security to Liberian security including the Liberia National Police which the Minister of Justice and Attorney General is heading.

Additional challenge is to man security during the 2017 presidential and legislative elections which has already signaling huge challenges for the Liberian security, amongst others.
As a matter of fact, former Justice Minister and Attorney General Sannoh is the second in that office to resign, the first was Cllr. Christiana Tah who resigned the job amid controversy of security lapses. Tah informed the public that she was quitting due to personal reasons.

With the gigantic tasks on hand, the former Senator and astute lawyer, Cllr. Cherue becomes the choice of the President to take the country through the transition that characterizes the transfer of political powers at the end of the 2017 elections.

Cllr. Cherue, a former President of the Liberia Bar Association, is a fine legal pundit and professional, a gentleman who seems to be amongst the best in Liberia, he however is not media friendly, deriving the question of how to go about the task.

Notwithstanding these challenges, he is the one now nominated as Liberia’s new Minister of Justice replacing Cllr. Benedict Sannoh who tendered in his resignation recently.
These speak to the daunting challenges Cllr. Frederick Cherue stands to face if confirmed by the Senate.

Cllr. Cherue heralded a list of new appointments in government affecting the Ministries of Justice, State for Presidential Affairs, Internal Affairs, Public Works, Central Bank of Liberia, National Port Authority, and the Law Reform Commission.

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