LIBERIA – In wake of the infamous amendment of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission Act, Smart News Liberia has gathered that President George Weah is targeting former Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s boss, Cllr. Jerome Verdier as a possible replacement for Cllr. Edwin Kla Martin, who’s in hiding for fear of his life.
The LACC Boss has abhorred the decision to dissolve the commissioners of the institution in a so-called amended act. He said the legislature’s decision was ‘unjust’.
President Weah requested in 2021 that the legislature adopt a minor adjustment to the 2008 LACC Act to give the commission direct power to prosecute.
However, the legislature chose to abolish the statute rather than amend it — even though the move granted the re-established LACC direct and immediate Prosecutorial Power, which it presently has, but with restrictions. Cllr. Martin rebuked the action of the Legislature and is now crying that people are after his life and have gone into hiding.
In the wake of all these, a top Weah administration source has hinted to Smart News that the Liberian President is eyeing exiled Cllr. Jerome Verdier, the Executive Director of the International Justice Group, as a replacement for Cllr, Edwin Kla Martin at the LACC.
Cllr. Verdier Is a leading human rights activist and an environmental lawyer who is based in the US after fleeing Liberia for an alleged threat on his own life during the administration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
In 2006, Verdier was appointed by Johnson-Sirleaf as chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia. Verdier indicted President Johnson Sirleaf herself in the TRC final report for complicity in the Liberian Civil War and support to Charles Taylor.
Cllr. Verdier is a multiple graduate of the University of Liberia.
Verdier’s International Justice Group which is headquartered in the United States aims to help people acquire justice across Liberia and beyond.
“We want to ensure a world full of peace, where victims are given a voice and their perpetrators meet their rightful consequence”, he told an interview years back.
And it is said the Weah Government is using intermediaries to convince the tough lawyer. But a source close to the lawyer said it is almost impossible to convince the former TRC boss to take the job.
Our source added that Cllr. Verdier is also working on a project that could see some of Weah administration officials themselves brought to justice for corruption and other wrongdoings in Liberia.