Judge Wollor Tells President Weah
Judge Sikajibo Wollor of Criminal Court ‘D’ at the Temple of Justice is one of several judges that may likely not accept President George Weah’s proposal to reduce salary and other emoluments of public officials that include the judges.
Judge Wollor believes that for the judiciary to be the pillar of democracy, then the Weah led government should ensure that salary and benefits of judges be commensurate with their colleagues in the United States and other parts of the world to justify their independence.
“I will not accept salary and or benefit cut, because I want the government to boast of a vibrant judiciary system,” he declared.
Wollor’s assertion comes in the wake of President Weah’s decision to take a 10 percent salary cut along with his cabinet officials, as part of the government’s pro-poor agenda.
While delivering his charge to judges during the opening of the May, 2018 Term of Criminal Courts, A, B, C D and E, Wollor drew attention to judge’s salaries as compared to that of judges in the US.
He argued that his research of the US legal system showed judges were earning more than the vice president in that country, which he claimed was not the case with Liberia, where judges were among the least paid public officials.
Although, he did not say how much judges are paid in the United States, Wollor is of the opinion that “the highest paid public official in the United States is the president, then the chief justice, followed by the associate justices, then the judges, and the vice president, but it is different in our country.”
The criminal court judge wondered why, it has been repeatedly claimed that Liberia is a child of the US, “if this is true, why we in Liberia consistently fail to practice the good things that are embedded in that country’s policy.”
He reminded his audience many of whom were judges that the US attaches importance to their judiciary prowess, because of that, the judicial branch is considered as the pillar of their democracy. But that is not the case of Liberia.
Aside from the American system, Judge Wollor said in most African countries, when judges are retired, they are retired with their benefits, thereby asking President Weah to follow same, because Liberian is not an exception.
“Liberia is a part and parcel of the comity of nations,” Wollor said. He recalled that Judge he was fortunate to have visited Malawi in 2008, where he observed and admired the judiciary system so much to the extent that he wished it for Liberia. He noted that while in that country, he recounted a conversation with some judges, “all of them told me that when they are retired, they go with all their benefits. Even judges in other African countries benefit from similarly, but that is not the case with Liberia.”