Lottery Ex-employee Wants Salary Arrears from VP’s Office

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A former Deputy Managing Director for Operations at the Liberia Lottery, Christopher Togba, is calling on Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, who has oversight responsibility for the national lottery, to pay his salary arrears, which he claimed the entity has owed him for more than nine years. However, the office of the Vice President says the Mr. Boakai only has “oversight responsibility” over the running of the Liberia Lottery, which does not necessarily allow him (VP) to run the entity.

“Having an oversight responsibility of an area is different from running the organization. Therefore, the VP will not run the day to day activities of an area which he has an oversight responsibility,” George Saah, director of media relations in the office of the VP told the Daily Observer via mobile phone yesterday.

“We are not afraid of anything from anywhere,” Mr. Saah told this newspaper.

But according to Mr. Togba, who was placed on “Administrative Leave with Pay” since March 22, 2007, the entire administrative decision bore the signature of Vice President Joseph N. Boakai.

“It has been more than nine years since your letter of administrative leave,” Togba told the Vice President in a letter, “yet you have still failed to resolve what you affixed your signature to.”

Mr. Togba further said despite several interventions from the office of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to pay his just salary and benefits, which has accrued to the sum of US$284,382.58 (Two hundred eighty-four thousand, three hundred eighty-two United States dollars and fifty-eight cents), the VP’s office continues to do nothing to resolve the problem.

“Vice President,” he said, “you and your management team at the Lottery have not only reneged on what you wrote in your March 22, 2007 letter, but you continue to employ divisive means.”

Additionally, “since I have been on ‘Administrative Leave’ (with pay) as per your directive, you have always been furnished with the accrued sum of my salary and benefits, including copies of my monthly salary-check prior to the March 22, 2007 decision, but you still fail to pay my money and benefits.

“I am therefore calling on you, Mr. Boakai, to please pay me and stop this act reminiscent of the ugly and evil past of our country,” Togba concluded in his letter.

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