President George Weah’s nominee for the position of Deputy Defense Minister for Operations, Tarplah Z. Davis Alias Zoely Zoe has failed Senate confirmation last week on grounds that he is traumatized and must go for further medical checks before reappearing before that august body.
This assertion was made last week by River Gee County Senator Conmany Wesseh, noting that the nominee is traumatized and needs further check in order to go be detraumatized first before appearing before the Liberian Senate for confirmation.
The confirmation hearing for Davis on Wednesday, February 05, in the chambers of the Senate turned dramatic when senators, including Montserrado County Senator Darious Dillon and River Gee Senator Wesseh quizzed the nominee about his social media post on Facebook, threatening to kill protesters, who will temper with his properties during the January 06, 2020 protest organized by the Council of Patriots.
Sen. Wesseh recalls them Mr. Davis posted on his Facebook page, the pledge to ‘restructure’ security sector- focuses on the National Security Agency, the Liberia National Police and the Armed Forces of Liberia, without mentioning the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency or the Liberia Immigration Service.
Wesseh quoted Davis as saying the three security institutions -AFL, NSA and LNP are a risk to Liberia’s security because they have tentacles of influence over the regime and do not support President Weah. He further quoted the deputy minister-designate as saying, the change within these organizations are slow! Too slow, a post Davis allegedly made a week to his nomination by President Weah.
But Davis explains that he served in the United States army and suffered from post traumatic stress disorder due to his involvement in combat while serving in the U.S. army, something, that led Sen. Wesseh to say he should seek treatment before facing the senate for confirmation.
Senator Wesseh’s assertion created tension and led to fistfight among supporters of Mr. Davis and staffers of the Liberian Senate. It took the intervention of police assigned at the Capitol to calm the situation.For his part, Bomi County Senator Sando Johnson, asked Mr. Davis to appeal to President Weah to revoke his nomination, as members of the Liberian Senate are not willing to confirm him because of his ‘terrible’ utterances.
Last December, some members of the House of Representatives wrote the Senate, urging that august body not to confirm Mr. Davis, as doing so could result to killing of Liberians on his order. The lawmakers, led by Montserrado County Representative Henson Kaizolu noted that “David Tarplah sometime in May and June 2019, promised to kill any of his fellow Liberians should any of them, in a protest, damage or cause to damage his property during such peaceful protest.”
The Representatives, in their statement to Senate President Pro-Tempore Albert Chie, said, “We believe [that] if Mr. Davis could make such a statement when he was not in an official position, he would, if confirmed, believe that he has full authority to execute his plan against peaceful citizens.
“Mr. Pro-Tempore and members of the Senate, we, the independent Legislative Caucus within the Unity Party, pray your indulgence not to confirm Mr. Davis. Such confirmation,” they warned, “would be to the detriment of the Liberian people.”On Tuesday, 04 February, the Liberian Senate rejected two presidential nominees here following their respective confirmation hearings at the Capitol in Monrovia.
The Senate statutory Committee on Lands, Mines, Energy, Natural Resources and Environment took the decision.
The committee, headed by Lofa County Senator and stalwart of the former ruling Unity Party, George Tengbeh, voted overwhelmingly against nominees Cllr. Charles Gibson, chairman-designate for the Liberia Electricity Corporation and Atty. Anthony Toga Nimely, chairman-designate, for the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission, respectively.
President George Manneh had appointed Cllr. Gibson as Minister of Justice, immediately after taken office in 2018, but withdrew the nomination under serious public pressure due to integrity issues.Attorney Toga Nimely faces serious integrity questions at the American-sponsored Millennium Challenge Account where he served previously.
The rejection raises question about President Weah’s choice of nominees for public offices, amid widespread corruption in his government. The full plenary of the Senate voted behind closed doors, endorsing the nominees’ rejection.