THE TRADITION OF KEEPING SUSPECTS FOR MORE THAN 24 HOURS IN SOUTH SUDAN

By Juol Nhomngek

CHOL DUT AJIENG, THE SPLM SECRETARY OF WESTERN LAKES STATE SHOULD EITHER BE RELEASED IMMEDIATELY OR PRODUCED IN COURT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE BUT NOT LATER THAN 48 HOURS

I have learned that the Western Lakes State Governor ordered an arrest of Chol Dut Ajieng at 11:00 PM on March 24, 2019. The Suspect is currently Western Lakes State Secretary of the SPLM.

Whereas there may be genuine reasons for arresting him at night, the procedure followed in arresting him were illegal. The citizens’ rights to personal liberty must be protected and respected.

The governor does not have any power to order the arrest of civilian as if in the army unless the offense is very serious and the suspect is likely to escape unless he or she is apprehended with immediate effect.

If the offense is not too serious, then the due process of arrest as provided for under the South Sudan Criminal Procedure Code must be followed.

The governor is not supposed to order the arrest of someone yet there are police and judicial institutions in the State.

The main role of the above two institutions is to keep law and order. The governor will only have powers if these institutions have failed as a way of maintaining law and order.

There is a habit the governor of Western Lakes is developing and he must stop it with immediate effect if he wants easy time in his government.

The governor has developed the habit of detaining people outside the legal sanction as seen in the case of Marik Nanga.

My advice to the new Governor of Western Lakes State is that he should operate within the law if he were to have good and easy time.

The reason we have the law is neither for the sake of it nor for formality but it is as a matter of necessity. The strong leader with the stable country or state is a product of strong law.

The governor has a duty to obey and follow the Constitution and other laws of South Sudan. Therefore, Chol Dut AJIENG should either be set free or produced in Court as soon as possible but not later than 48 hours.

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