The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has finally bowed to a long standing Supreme Court demand to submit documentary evidence as to whether it was paying Atty. Sam Solomon, for the seven years and six months he worked as senior prosecutor at the Monrovia City Court.
The ministry agreed to the demand after Justice in Chamber, Associate Justice Philip A.Z. Banks threatened Minister Benedict F.Sannoh with contempt charges for failing to submit the documents. He further threatened to force the government to pay Atty. Solomon his claimed benefits in the amount of US$143, 905.88 if the documents were not submitted.
Justice Banks gave government two weeks to prepare the required documents.
The submission apparently reduces tension between the Supreme Court and the MOJ, which is also battling Atty. Solomon over his claim of US$143,905.88 unpaid salary and other benefits, representing 88 months, which his lawyer is seeking to compel the Liberian government to settle.
A source at Justice Banks’ office hinted to the Daily Observer yesterday, “It was the County Attorney for Montserrado, Cllr. Daku Mulbah, who presented the documents on behalf of Minister Sannoh.”
The source did not say what amount of payment and the number of months worked were stated on the documents presented by the Ministry of Justice to the lead government lawyer.
“I don’t know how much money appeared on the document as payment to Atty. Solomon. All I do know is that the document only included allowances and other benefits. It did not include salary.
“Those documents bore the signature of Atty. Solomon.”
Prior to the submission, government lawyers argued that Atty. Solomon was never employed, but rather he served in the position as a volunteer, a claim Atty. Solomon has continued to deny, arguing that he was employed by the Ministry but did not receive a dime.
When he was contacted by journalists at the Temple of Justice, the former senior prosecutor maintained his argument that he was employed by the Ministry of Justice, denying ever signing for any money as “allowance.”
He described the ministry’s action as a “criminal attempt to subvert the payment of his just benefits.”
“I have never signed for any allowance. If they say I did, let them stand before me and say it. If the Supreme Court could consider my suggestion then let them send us to do signature verification anywhere,” the senior prosecutor challenged.
“These are people who are trying to bring problems between the government which I have served so diligently, and me,” adding, “I have served in the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) as a Colonel.”
“I will never leave the case, and even if I die my family will still pursue it,” Atty. Solomon vowed.