Philip A. Z. Banks
Former Minister of Justice
Career: Director of Legal and Legal Advisor Affairs, Constitution Commission, 1981-83; Dean, Arthur Grimes School of Law, University of Liberia, 1983-84; Minister of Justice, Interim Government of National Unity, 1990-94; Consultant, Government Reform Commission; Liberian Law Report, 1999-2003; Minister of Justice 2007-09.
Commentary: Banks was dismissed from government in 2009 after he was said to have soft-pedalled the corruption trial of Edwin Snowe, the former boss of the Liberian Petroleum Refining Company and a member of the House. He had also been implicated in an earlier scandal, surfacing after a series of emails, purporting to have been extracted from the account of Willis Knuckles, a confidant to the President and a disgraced former Public Works Minister, forced to resign in 2007 following a sex scandal (AC Vol 48 No 6). The email exchanges show discussions of kickbacks and sweeteners for a deal that
would allow the Liberian International Shipping and Corporate Registry
(LISCR) to extend its management of the national Maritime Registry. Banks was implicated along with Johnson-Sirleaf's brother in law and Legal and Security Advisor, Estrada Bernard and the Commissioner of the Bureau of Maritime Affairs, Binyah Kesselly.