Judicial employee sets himself ablaze over witch-hunt and salary delay

The Head of the Aggrieved Judicial Workers Monday, set himself ablaze before the Temple of Justice in Monrovia, as the body continues to pursue efforts in getting their Liberian dollar salary component that has not been forthcoming almost a year.

Leroy Archie Ponpon, a known advocate has been leading several employees of the Judiciary over Liberian dollars salaries owed them with little being done to have them receive their money.

The indebtedness came as a result of government’s reported reform being carried out on what they called salary harmonization.

Though an assurance by the Minister of Finance in collaboration with the Chief Justice to commence an initial three months of payment for employees, Archie Ponpon remains a target for orchestrating the protest according to Judicial sources. He was indefinitely suspended by Chief Justice Francis Kpokor.

Beyond his reported suspension he was also issued a writ of arrest with an intent to imprison him.

While scuffle ensued Monday for his court appearance, in a rather dramatic move, he took off a bottle of gas kept beneath a black jacket, drank some and wasted the rest on himself before lighting himself up.

The grounds of the Judiciary went into frenzy with onlookers calling for ambulance while others wept bitterly.

This is the first time a protest leading to live burning of oneself has happened on those grounds.

The Judicial authorities have not responded but onlookers think this will send a wrong signal for the country’s Judiciary that one of its own will do such due to salary situation.

The Judiciary remains the only branch of government that enjoys Financial Autonomy.

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