By William Madouk Garang
Security operatives have arrested and detained the chairperson of Anti-corruption Commission inNorthern Bahr el Ghazal State, Anei Rok on Tuesday; just a day after the Governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state lifted his immunity over defamation claims.
Mr. Anei Rok was appointed as the State Anti-corruption Commission chairperson for Northern Bahr el Ghazal State on SPLM-IO ticket as per the power sharing agreement in forming the unity government brought by the R-ARCSS
This comes after the boss of the state anti-corruption commission in August, 2022 publicized a fact finding report, accusing Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, Aweil governor and his State Minister of Finance of embezzling public funds.
However, the SPLM-IO chairlady in NBGs Aweil, Angelina Aweng said they are dismayed over the lifting of immunity of the state chairperson of anti-corruption, asserting that this shows dictatorship.
Mr. Rok claimed that monthly collected accrued taxes of over 30 million pounds, enough to run the State institutions and Ministries are regarded as belonging to the governor and his Finance Minister respectively.
He also accused the State government of selling out allocated plot to several people at the same time including playgrounds by some officials who are responsible for land.
This week, governor Tong Akeen lifted the immunity of Rok and opened a court case against him over claims that he (Akeen) had been defamed.
In a telephone interview with No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper yesterday, the minister of Information William Anyuon said based on previous report, the Finance Minister and revenue authority opened a case against anti-graft.
Minister Anyuon added that the public attorney then asked governor Akeen to lift immunity of Mr. Rok allowing him to appear before the court to answer charges.
“Of course the immunity was lifted on Monday and he was told to be in his home so that he can go to court when the court needed him but the chairperson interfered with that, he went to his party and they condemned the letter that was written by the governor and also they went very far to take him to his office,” Anyuon claimed.
“That one provoked the authority and now the governor ordered arrest so that he will be arrested, not only that he also went to the party to condemn the letter of the governor and also he is trying to escape somewhere – he cannot access the court,” the minister added.
Anyuon further said they were left wondering why Mr. Rok wanted to dodge the court and he was the one who accused them in the first place, asserting that he need to proof the claims so that the law takes its course.
A letter seen by No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper addressed by Mr. Governor Akeen to Mr. Rok informed him that his immunity has been lifted, and wanted to attend to a public prosecutor for hearing on the defamation charges.
“I am here by writing to formally lift your immunity as constitutional post-holder with effect from the date of writing this letter for a needed probe at police office in Aweil Town Police Station to clear the alleged accusations against you,” the letter by Governor Akeen partly read.
“You are requested under the case opened against you under case No. (2367) /2022, under section (289) of South Sudan Penal Code Act 2008, and the Director of Legal Administration and Public Prosecution had directed you to meet the prosecutor for you to answer some questions,” he added.
However reacting to the matter, the SPLM-IO Chairperson in NBGs,Angelina Aweng said they are dismayed by the lifting of Mr. Rok’s immunity, adding that this displays Akeen is a dictator.
“…the Governor of Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal State on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, lifted the immunity of the chairperson State Anti-Corruption Commission in NBGS Government,” Aweng said in a statement.
“The SPLM-IO leadership condemns this order in the strongest terms possible and this also shows that Governor Tong Akeen Ngor is known for dictatorship, total tyranny and lack of democracy in his governance,” she added.
Aweng also protested that the lifting of immunity is not accepted by the SPLM-IO and that it is null and void and threatened that she will not leave any stone unturned.
“Governor Tong Akeen Ngor did not make prior consultations with the concerned party leadership where honorable Anei Rok Akuei hails from, on the status or nature of his charges labeled against him,” it added.
Aweng, who also serves as the deputy speaker in the state parliament, said Rok spoke of corruption that is ongoing in the state and dismissed claims that he had defamed the governor.