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.”