250 Immigration Officers in ‘Trouble’

-For demanding salary arrears

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LIS Commissioner Lemuel Reeves

Authorities of the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) in Monrovia have reportedly failed to address the plight of about 250 of their officers who have not been paid their monthly salary since they graduated last year from training the LIS conducted in Grand Cape Mount County.

The officers reportedly fell in trouble with their respective commanders when they demanded to see President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for their salary arrears and allegedly abandoning their respective assignments chasing their paychecks, the Daily Observer has unearthed.

Although the LIS public affairs is yet to speak on the issue, 10 of the aggrieved officers have meanwhile been placed behind bars at the LIS headquarters in Sinkor on the alleged orders of some unnamed senior officers, with the say-so of LIS Commissioner Lemuel Reeves.

LIS, formerly the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN), is headquartered in a rented apartment in Fiamah, Sinkor, outside Monrovia.

Two of the disgruntled officers told the Daily Observer on condition of anonymity that their colleagues were jailed following a failed meeting the LIS authorities had arranged with the leadership of the affected officers.

“Few hours after the meeting failed, another batch of five other officers were cajoled into the buildings and ordered jailed on the alleged order of the Service Commissioner, Peter Zayzay,” the officer claimed.

According to our information, the LIS hierarchy had invited the leadership of the affected officers under the pretext to dialogue and to find a common ground on how the officers would receive their salaries, only to end up being put behind bars.

The Daily Observer established that while the officers had hoped to get redress concerning their salary arrears, Commissioner Zayzay, who had invited them, became enraged and ordered that each of the officers he invited to his office be detained. He did not provide any reason for his action, our source noted.

The aggrieved officers subsequently gathered in their numbers and reportedly stormed the LIS headquarters, demanding from the authority their paychecks, which they claimed had accumulated since they graduated last year.

In May last year, the 250 officers completed their training in ‘Camp Biago,’ Grand Cape Mount County, but are yet to receive a dime from the government, which the authorities promised to pay shortly after they were assigned at their respective posts.

Meanwhile, the officers said they have exerted all available means to get their salaries, because their family members now face hardship, “but to no avail, as all stakeholders that promised to settle our pay are yet to make good on their promises.”

Authors

4 COMMENTS

  1. The Minister of Information, Finance and LIS commissioner need to come up with a press statement to immediately inform the Liberian public why the GOL has not made any money available to pay salary arrears to the 250 aggrieved officers. Meanwhile, Commissioner Peter Zayzay needs to come clean to explain why he got enraged and order the officers detained, he also need to explain why the 250 officers have not been paid since graduation last year. Col Lemuel Reeves have not made any statement to this effect. The LIS boss will need to come up with an answer why 250 officers of the LIS have not received pay from 2016.

    President Sirleaf, please stop being too soft on the Liberian people. Let people go to jail for stealing money that does not belong to them. Every where you turn in our government, there are some type of theft case. Wake up and do something, Madam President.

  2. The failure of LIS authority to pay these men amount to criminality/corruption at the highest level. Why should senior government officials be insensitive to the plight of its own in listed men on duty?
    “Gorbachev” GOL.
    These are the outcome of entrusting creminal with state power

  3. While this criminal rigmarole is going on and LIS Commander Zayzay is placing his fellow officers who demanded their legitimate salaries in jail, the security of our Nation is at a stand still. 250 officers might just constitute a third or significant portion of the entire immigration force to protect our national security. The Legislative Body need to immediately intervene, investigate and also question Commander Zayzay’s outrageous behavior.

    Placing leaders of the members of the 250 officers in jail makes no logical or security sense. He needs to explain his rationale to the Liberian people and the National Legislature. Lemuel Reeves needs to tell the Liberian people what is obtaining at his agency. Did he order members of this delegation to be jailed? No amount of intimidation and abuse will solve this salary problem. I stand with these 250 officers.

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