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Civil Society Network Hails Intervention Of Judicial Security — In Aborting Archie Ponpon’s Intended Suicide

The Civil Society Network of Liberia (CSNL) has lauded the swift intervention of the judicial security officers and other citizens who helped save the life of Mr. Archie Ponpon, protest leader of aggrieved judicial workers.
Mr. Ponpon last shocked Liberia and the world by setting himself ablaze in protest of what he claimed is a calculated marginalization, oppression, suppression and alleged attempt by Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor to kill him (Archie) for leading series of protests on the grounds of the Temple of Justice in demand of several months of salary arrears owed judicial workers.
The CSNL, in a press release issued last Friday hailed officers of the Judiciary Security for swiftly intervening to quench the fire on Mr. Ponpon and avoided what could have been a savage suicide on the sacred grounds of the Temple of Justice.
It can be recalled that, amid continuous protests, allegations and public disrespect shown to Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor and the Judiciary by judicial workers and some journalists assigned at the Temple of Justice, the Civil Society Network of Liberia (CSNL), recently issued a statement, strongly defending the character and integrity of the Chief Justice and the entire leadership of the Judiciary.
Chief Justice Korkpor and the administration of the Judiciary are on record for making several clarifications to the protesting workers on many occasions about the circumstances surrounding their salaries like all other civil servants and government employees as a result of the much publicized harmonization policy but to no avail.
On one of the protest day, October 13, 2020, Finance Minister Samuel Tweah rushed to the grounds of the Temple of Justice and told protesting judicial staff that the government was doing all it could to address the situation and probably restore the cuts in their salaries.
In September this year, the Judiciary made another clarity to the protesting employees that whatever cuts in their salaries were not the doing of the Judiciary and that the cuts affected all employees of government in keeping with the harmonization policy.
Despite all of the interventions and clarifications done by the Judiciary and the Executive branches, some individuals led by Mr. Archie Ponpon, under the guise of protesting for cuts in the Liberian Dollar component of their salaries, continue to make public statements against the Chief Justice and the
The civil society group said it would not condone and therefore called on Mr. Ponpon and his accomplices to immediately desist as their unjustified actions are not only disrespectful to Chief Justice Korkpor but also has the propensity to erode the sacredness of the Judiciary which is a non-political branch of government and the fulcrum of the peace, justice and stability of Liberia.
The group said while it joins the Chief Justice and other well-meaning Liberians to empathize with Mr. Ponpon for the injuries he sustained in his attempted suicide mission, it sees it fit to remind Mr. Ponpon and his fellow protesting workers that the harmonization policy affected the entire government and is therefore not the making of the Chief Justice Korkpor whom himself is a victim of said policy.
The civil society group has also commended Chief Justice Korkopor for exercising maximum restraint and magnanimity by preventing any use of force to gain access to his official vehicle which was placed under felonious restraint on several occasion by Mr. Ponpon thus causing the Chief Justice to ride ordinary vehicle to and from the Temple of Justice.
The CSNL expressed shock about the gross failure of some activists and politicians to verify the circumstances that led to the reduction of government employees’ salaries, including Mr. Ponpon and others, but rather chose to do radio and newspaper commentaries that erroneously indict the Chief Justice for acts he did not commit.
The civil society group emphasized that it is impossible for the Chief Justice or any official of government in the three branches to individually tamper with any government worker’s salary because the government has since put in place and is operating a direct deposit policy which allows every government employee to receive his/her salary through a personal bank account.
The civil society group has also re-echoed recent caution by Chief Justice Francis Korkpor and the Director of Communications at the Judiciary, Atty. Darryl Ambrose Nmah that journalists reporting from that sacred branch of government be more careful and exercise maximum professionalism in their reportage.

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