Temple Of Justice
Supreme Court Rules Against FDA
By Comfort M. Johnson
MONROVIA, March 6 (LINA) –The Supreme Court of Liberia has awarded 68 members of the Workers Union of the Forestry Development Authority (WUFDA) a total of LD$1,524,400 as salary arrears and transportation reimbursement and US$22,386 for housing allowance.
Of the LD$1,524,400, LD$1,197,600 is for salary arrears, while the balance LD$326,800 is for transportation, according to the Supreme Court ruling on Friday, March 3.
In the ruling read by Associate Justice Sie-A’Nyene G. Yuoh in the Supreme Court Chambers, the high court made it clear that the awards were for unfair labor practices and wrongful dismissal of those union members by the FDA.
It can be recalled that on October 7, 1998, the Workers Union of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) by and thru its President Eunice Dagbe filed a motion to dismiss an appeal at the court of wrong labor practice against the Management of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA)
The Supreme Court of Liberia reached the decision after a careful examination of the records and having listened to the arguments on both sides and considered the evidence and the relevant Laws.
The Supreme Court further stated that considering that the case has been pending for almost 20 years, during which period the respondent posed no challenge to the judgment of the National Labor Court and failed to pursue its appeals, describing such act is tantamount to abandonment of the appeal.
“Hence in the interest of substantive justice the motion to dismiss the appeal is hereby granted,” the Supreme Court pointed out.
The ruling further said the FDA although wholly-owned by the government, cannot benefit from the exemptions under section 44.29 of the civil procedure law, as it generates and manages its own income and revenue without allocation through the national budget.
That for exhibiting a high degree of ignorance of the basic principles for the preparation of pleadings and brief requested of the member of the Supreme Court Bar, Cllr. Viama A. Blama, was fined the amount of U$100 to be paid into government revenue within 48 hours of rendition of the judgment and receipt of payment deposited with the Marshal of the court.
Cllr. Blama has also been warned by the Supreme Court of Liberia that repetition of such act will lead to a heavier penalty.
Meanwhile, the Clerk of the Court has been ordered to send a mandate to the National Labor Court informing its presiding judge to resume jurisdiction over the case and give effect to the judgment.