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Court orders Gen. Mathok to vacate Rock City Hotel

Advocate Sebit Alex Joseph, Lead Counsel of the Plaintiff speaking to Journalists after the court ruling/Photo: Philip Buda Ladu

By Philip Buda Ladu

Kator High Court has ordered General Salva Mathok Gengdit to surrender the properties of Rock City Hotel and Jebel Lodge to the rightful owner (Solomon Chaplain Lui) as he accused Gen. Mathok of illegally amassing wealth from the said businesses.

The Plaintiff’s lawyer sued Mathok to court on the instruction of his clients Mr. Solomon a prominent South Sudanese businessman commonly known as Solo, the owner of Rock City Hotel and Jebel Lodge.

Solo who has been out of the country since 2012 issued a power of Attorney to Gen. Salva Mathok in 2016 through an agent to be a caretaker of his business property in question, which he was to manage the business until such a time when he (Solo) withdraws the power of Attorney.

However, according to the Plaintiff, the Defendant Gen. Mathok decided to cut off telephone calls and email contacts that very year he was given the power of Attorney to run the business on behalf of Solo and he was supposed to report to him which didn’t happen as planned.

Solo said he tried to pursue Gen. Mathok to settle the stalemate through negotiations and different avenues but the Defendant declined and as such his behavior prompted him (Solo) to terminate the power of Attorney granted to Gen. Mathok after amassing wealth.

Gen. Mathok was then told to peacefully hand over the property back to the owner as he had got new person to assume the caretaker role but he resisted which prompted the Plaintiff through his lawyer to opt for court settlements.

Legal counsel submission

Advocate Sebit Alex Joseph, is the Lawyer of the complainant.

He said on the 11th of August, 2016, the Plaintiff Solomon Chaplain Lui, the Landlord and Proprietor of Plot No. 2, 1st Class, Investment area, Hai Jebel, Juba, commonly known as ROCK CITY HOTEL and THE JEBEL LODGE HOTEL issued a “power of attorney” to the defendant, Salva Mathok Gengdit to act as a caretaker and collect rental arrears for and on behalf of the Plaintiff from previous tenants.

The power of attorney was issued through the recommendation of an agent, and the Plaintiff has never known the defendant in person.

“The Defendant took over possession of the Plaintiff’s property, immediately cut contact through telephone, email or any other mode of communication while illegally and forcefully amassing wealth and the entire proceeds of the business for himself at the total detriment and loss of the plaintiff without sending any penny since his take over in 2016 to-date,” Sebit said.

The lawyer said the defendant ventured into character assassination and dangerous misleading remarks against the Plaintiff as a decoy to cover his wrong and dubious dealings on the Plaintiff’s private property.

Upon failure of several attempts to peacefully recover his property, the Plaintiff revoked the power of attorney granted to the Plaintiff on 1st October, 2019 and immediately appointed Misake Ronyo Enock as the new caretaker on 14th November 2019.

Sebit further said upon official notification to vacate the property the Defendant rejected the new mandate and threatened the new mandate holder not to set foot at the Plaintiff’s property as he is in occupation with the authority of the National Security Service Internal Security Bureau.

The Plaintiff through his lawyers notified the Defendant of the intention to sue on 28th April, 2020 and the same was ignored, prompting him to initiate a civil suit for forceful eviction and recovery of his property from the Defendant regardless of the huge damage and monetary claims he is owed.

The Defendant filed an application and requested for mediation. The Plaintiff offered a road map on the basis of the Defendant’s request to resolve the matter and the Defendant ignored the same, hence no results from the mediation.

The Defendant made an application for joinder of the National Security Service, Internal Security Bureau on the 4th February, 2021 as an interested party, attaching an alleged confiscation document dated 2016, and just a few days after the Plaintiff issued him the power of attorney.

The National Security Service Internal Security Bureau through its Directorate of Legal Affairs objected to the application for joinder, clearly stating that the Defendant is an illegal occupant with Zero shares on the property and the institution has no interest or involvement in the same.

Upon the response of the Institution, and further objection by the Plaintiff, the Defendant willfully withdrew the application for joinder.

The Plaintiff is convinced that the Defendant was or has been unceremoniously using the name of the National Security Service Internal Security Bureau to illegally and forcefully occupy his property and enrich himself by amassing mesne profits.

The Defendant further filed counter-claim on 14th May, 2021 against the Plaintiff on frivolous and vexatious grounds without an iota of a cause of action, claiming for monetary compensation and part of the Plaintiff’s property.

The Plaintiff filed his Defense statement to the counter-claim of the Defendant firmly denying the contents thereof in total on the 21st June, 2021.

Court ruling

Judge, Mojahed Abdalla Akol after carefully examining the submission ruled the case in favor of the Plaintiff.

Eviction order for the Defendant from plot No.2 Block AA, 1st Class approximate area 497,000 SQM Rock City in and Jebel Lodge Hotel with all the properties and buildings.

He also ruled that the power of Attorney that was given to the defendant be cancelled.

The defendant should pay court fees and Advocate fees according to agreement, issued by the presiding Judge, Mojahed Abdalla Akol.

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