The President of the National Association of Trial Judges of Liberia (NATJL) Roosevelt Z. Wellie says the national government is sentencing judges and magistrates to premature death by providing low salaries and others benefits.
“We therefore call on government to provide judges and magistrates the necessary logistic particularly vehicles and other items for the smooth operations of their judicial functions because as we deliver this charge, some of our judges have gone to their respective assignments either using their own vehicles or taken commercial ones; which posses security risk to them,” stated Judge Willie.
Judge Willie lamented: “some of our members have faced pre-mature death because while they earn between U$2,000 to U$4,000 during active service, they receive L$7,500 with no transportation in retirement which action is a sentence to death.”
Delivering his charge on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at the opening of the February A. D. 2018 Term of Court on behalf of Criminal Courts A, B, C, D, & E he said for a judge or magistrate to be fully independent his/her retirement benefits cannot continue to be L$7,500a month and the vehicle used during active service is taken away.
According to him, salaries and other benefits for judges and magistrates shall not be diminished without a national program enacted by the Legislature as enshrined in Article 72 of the 1986 Constitution.
The NATJL President demanded to government that judges and magistrates must be provided vehicles and other logistics like any other government officials so as to make their movement easy and efficient on the job.
He said they will not sit supinely and allow judges and magistrates ride commercial vehicles or use their own vehicles to take up assignments in places like Lofa, Grand Gedeh, River Gee among others.
Additionally, he said they will not allow their members to retire in poverty after serving the people of Liberia sacrificially while other
employees of the functionaries of government retire in luxury and comfort.
Writes P. Nas Mulbah