Dismissed Revenue Authority Employees Decry Injustices Over Re-instatement
Monrovia – The October 2015 mandate issued by the Supreme Court to the Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), Elfreda Tamba, to re-instate 10 dismissed employees continues to drag on while the affected employees say the mandate has been allegedly downplayed by the LRA boss.
In June 2015, LRA boss Mrs. Tamba dismissed ten employees who were transferred from the then Ministry of Finance to the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) on claims that they were allegedly involved in corruption while in the employ of the Ministry of Finance.
Not satisfied with the antics of the LRA, the ten affected employees through their legal counsel, Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe, filed a writ of prohibition to the Supreme Court Justice-In–Chamber Kabineh Ja’neh against her decision.
The high court Associate Justice Ja’neh ruled in the matter that the dismissed employees were never given any due process and therefore asked the parties to the case to return to a status-quo-ante meaning that the employees should be maintained on the job until the merit of the case is heard and determined.
However, the dismissed employees claimed that since the Supreme Court issued the mandate in October 2015 and re-echoed the same mandate in December 2015 the LRA boss, in partial fulfillment of the mandate, re-instated them in December 2015 and paid them up to January 2016 and sent them on a one month compulsory leave in February 2016 and since then, they have been barred from entering the LRA premises or be paid.
At a press conference in Monrovia on Wednesday under the guise of 59 aggrieved employees of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), the Chairman of the group Prince Gbeinsaye said the administration of transparency, accountability and impartiality within the nation’s judicial system have become a major challenge for the Unity Party led Government at the detriment of the poor and marginalized population of the country.
“The constant denial of our rights to serve as full employees of the LRA as ordered by the Supreme Court of Liberia in 2015 by the Authority’s Commissioner General, Madam Elfrieda Stewart-Tamba and her deputies is a classical and visible example of the abortion of justice and our basic fundamental rights,” said Gbeinsaye.
Gbeinsaye continued that in the absence of the restoration of their status, they called on the Supreme Court again to compel Madam Tamba to pay off the 59 LRA employees with all benefits in accordance with the Labour Laws of the Republic of Liberia to enable them seek new opportunities.
The LRA aggrieved employees lamented that the action exhibited by Madam Elfrieda Stewart- Tamba with the continuous silence of the presidency clearly indicates President Sirleaf’s insensitivity to the plights of the ordinary Liberians to survive in the midst of government’s acknowledged economic difficulties parading the streets of the country.
“Three of our affected colleagues have died while two others have developed stroke while our children are not in school from the action of Madam Tamba,” said Chairman Gbeinsaye.
However, FrontPage Africa has reliably learnt that the aggrieved employees have filed another bill of information to the Supreme Court before Associate Justice Jamesetta Howard- Wolokollie against the alleged disobedience of the high court order by the LRA boss, but there has been no hearing yet.
When contacted on the matter early this year, Madam Tamba told FrontPage Africa that she is law-abiding and has no intention to disobey the high court order but the reinstated were transferees and not employees who have failed to sit an essay test at the LRA as a basic requirement for employment.
“Those 10 persons out there are transferees not employees until they can sit an essay they will not be employed at the LRA,” Madam Tamba vowed.
But the dismissed employees head Gbeinsaye said no one has ever sat essay for employment at the LRA as the action instituted by Madam Tamba against them was a witch hunt.
However, some legal practitioners following the development at the LRA with the 10 employees and authority and spoke to FrontPage Africa on the basis of anonymity have contrary views to Madam Tamba, adding she needs to first obey the high court order before raising case, if any.
“Madam Tamba first needs to obey the high court order and re-instate the 10 employees without condition and raised her case, if any, but if she disobeys the high court order, it portrays a bad image of the court in the eyes of the public,” said the source.
Kennedy L. Yangian [email protected]