“We are friends but no friend will want to embarrass his friend and so when it comes to the execution of the law, the law will take its course.”
The Justice Minister’s statement was in response to a question posed to him as to how is he going to handle cases of corruption involving his friends. Senator Cherue faced the senate committee on Judiciary and National security for confirmation for his new post of Justice Minister, replacing Benedict Sannoh who resigned.
Senator Varney Sherman, who is the chair on senate Joint committees stepped aside as presiding for the hearing because, according to him, he has a personal family relationship with the nominee. His Co-chair, senator Morris Saytumah of Bomi County presided over the session.
The senate chambers was a familiar terrain for the Justice Minister designate who had served as senator for River Gee County in the 53rd National Legislature. 15 of his former colleagues including former pro-Tempore Gbehzongar Findley accompanied him to meet the senate committee on Judiciary as a sign of solidarity and support for their former colleague.
He has less than two years in his new post as Justice Minister in the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf led Government if confirmed. Many believe that he has an uphill task in the next few months especially with the latest Global Witness report naming several officials of Government.
He will also have a task of confronting and governing a Police that has been named in the US state department as corrupt and wasteful. In his remarks he promised to work collaboratively with each branch of government to find solutions to problems that require solutions.
Cherue said: “Honorable senators confirm me and give me this task and you will know what I am worth. To resolve national issues is a process and this is a process that we all need to pursue I cannot do it alone. I don’t have a fixed solution now.”
Recently the report claimed that as consulting fees US$75,000.00 was paid to Alex Tyler (Speaker of the House of Representatives); US$50,000.00 was paid to Richard Tolbert (Chairman of the National Investment Commission); US$50,000.00 was paid to Morris Saytumah (Minister of State for Finance, Economic and Legal Affairs); and US$10,000.00 to Willie Belleh (Chairman of the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission).
Responding to specific question from the audience about how he intends to deal with people in the Global witness report he said; “Accusations are not proof. If they are accused we will ask them to recluse themselves.
Cherue is a member of the legal team of Madam Matilda Parker former Managing Director of the National Port Authority in her US$ 800,000.00 case. Frederic Cherue, a former Senator from River Gee County faces a daunting challenge of prosecuting a backlog of cases.
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.