Court Alarms Over Illegal Salary Deduction, Gives Finance Minister Five Months Ultimatum to Restitute Judges’ Salaries

The Vice President of the National Trial Judges of Liberia and Criminal Court ‘C’ resident Judge Blamo Dixon has given Finance Minister Samuel Tweah five months ultimatum to restitute judges’ and judicial workers’ salaries illegally deducted over three years.

Speaking at the opening of Criminal court A, B, C, D, and E recently, judge Dixion noted that the Minister of Finance and Development Planning illegally owes judges from Azzizes criminal court A, B, C, D, and E over one hundred and eighty-two thousand two hundred and sixty-eight dollars ( (USD$182,268) something he said applies to all judges at the Temple of Justice.

In his response to the Judge’s charge at the Circuit court opening in Liberia, the vice president of the Trial Judges asserted that over the period mentioned USD$911.34 was unwarrantedly deducted per month from each Judges’ salary which is equivalent to US$-36,453.60,

“Permit me to report that the total amount of money that the Minister of Finance and Development Planning illegally deducted from our Salaries for Forty (40) Months or Three (3) Years Four (4) Months from October 31st, 2019 at the rate oftJS$91 1.34 per Month as of January 31st, 2023 is equivalent to US$36,453.60 for each Judge; using US$ 1.00 to 150.00,” he said

“The total amount of money that the Minister of Finance illegally deducted from our salaries, for 40 months from October 31st, 2019 to January 31st, 2023 at the rate of US$911.34 per month, as of January 31st, 2023 is equivalent to US$36,453.60” he added.

In the Judge’s assertions, he noted that there was no salary disparity in the judiciary, which is why the US$36,453.60 owed each judge during the period under review is constant across the board. USS36,453.60 multiplied by Five (5) is equivalent to US$182,268.OO, which the Minister owed the Five (5) Judges presiding over criminal courts A, B, C, D and.E

He furthered: “As for those who are against our advocacy for our monies that were cut and the delay in the disbursement of our Salaries by the said Minister, we refer them to take recourse to Article 72 (a & b) of the Constitution”

“We shall continue the advocacy for the refund of our monies, which are increasing every day as we are working. We shall keep you posted at every opening of courts until our monies are retroactively refunded for our wellbeing and upkeep” Judge Blamo Dixon made the statement at the opening of court

He called also called on finance minister Tweah to restitute monies owed to Magistrates, Support Staff, as well as Bailiffs, Messengers, Drivers Cooks, and Cleaners before July 26, 2023.

Judge Dixon used the occasion to urge the Government of Liberia to increase the Budget of the Judiciary Branch of Government, and the entire Security Sector for the Fiscal Year 2023 to maintain Law and Order and sustain the Peace during the Electoral period

For his part associate Justice Yusuf Kaba said Judges and Magistrates should uphold the integrity of the Judiciary Branch of government.

In his statement at the opening of the Circuit courts, Justice Kaba called on judges, magistrates, and judicial workers to protect the image of the Judiciary by following the rule of law and responsibly conducting themselves; adding” it is your foremost priority”

He also urged them to use their descriptions as judges and managers in dispensing Justice to reduce the congested prison facility that was built for three hundred fifty inmates.

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