Suspended MP threatens Nunu with legal suit

By William Madouk

The wrangling at the national parliament might heighten after the suspended opposition lawmaker Juol Nhomngek said, he is considering legal action against the speaker, Jemma Nunu following his suspension from the August House.

According to Speaker Nunu, the embattled MP was suspended as per regulation 59 of the House conduct of business regulation 2011 (as amended 2021), in cognizant of the Assembly Business Committee (ABC) on investigation report.

“I Jemma Nunu Kumba, speaker of the transitional national legislative assembly, do hereby issue this suspension order per Regulation 59 (3) of the TNLA conduct of Business Regulation 2011 (as amended 2021),” partly reads suspension order.

The suspension order seen by No.1 Citizen Newspaper, takes it effect immediately from April 26, 2023.

The House clerk, Makuc Makuc, on a letter dated April 27, wrote to Nhomngek informing him of his suspension from the parliament by the speaker.

“Please find attached the suspension order dated 26th April 2023 from the Rt. Hon. Speaker of the transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) for your implementation accordingly,”  Clerk said.

Reacting to the matter, the suspended MP Nhomngek said the suspension letter was not officially handed over to him but he found it first of social media.

“The clerk came to me when I was standing telling me to sign the document but I said no because this not how we work in the parliament,” he said.

“He is supposed to hand the order officially to my committee so that I get it there, but I got the letter first on social media,” he added.

According to him, the speaker fears facing him in the court of law and resort to using illegal means such as ‘suspension’ from the assembly to silence him.

“As I had been saying the formation of the committee, the decision of committee and the action of the speaker are all illegal – that is not how you deal with administrative decision,” he noted.

He added, “I need to be heard and must be given a say, hearing where the speaker is not the judge and shouldn’t formed the committee. I was not given an opportunity to be heard.”

He called on MPs not to allow such a ‘lousy’ decision to be taken by the speaker, adding that it’s the Assembly to decide on suspension through vote and not otherwise.

“Speaker cannot take law in her own hands to suspend Member of Parliament like a school pupil; this is the House where we are democratic if anything, it should have been taken to the House to decide by vote,” MP challenged.

“Whatever the house decide in democratic manner – I will accept, I will not even talk even if the members said you and speaker, you two go to the court I will go,” he continued.

The outspoken lawmaker said his suspension will not stop him from speaking the truth even if he is no longer in the parliament, asserting to take legal suit against the speaker.

“I am in contact with lawyers; this decision should be challenged through the court process because it is illegal,” Nhomngek stressed.

Conduct of Business Regulation 59 sub-regulation (3), states that if the member refuses to apologize, the speaker may suspend him or her from the services of the house for the remainder of the session, during which time he or she will not be paid by the assembly.

On February, the embattling MP rejected summon by an adhoc investigation committee that wanted him to answer defamatory claims he allegedly labeled against speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba.

Nhomngek, an MP representing Cueibet County of Lakes State at the R-TNLA on the ticket of SPLM-IO termed the summon as ‘incomplete’ and contrary to fair hearing as stipulated by laws.

He requested that all original publications from where the charges of defamation quoted paragraphs in the ‘summon’ are found.

But the ad hoc investigation committee probing him, warned of suspension.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Rev. Michael Ayen Johnson, said Juol is likely to be charged under Sub-Regulation (1) if they find him guilty of defamation.

This comes after Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba of the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly accused Juol Nhonmgek of defamation.

Adhoc committee listed ten bulletin allegations against Nhomngek, for instance he alleged that the speaker own private company that is doing cleaning services in the parliament.

The committee also said, the MP attributed failure of the parliament to Nunu – alleging that she ‘is not there to serve citizens but she is there to promote herself at the expense of the people of South Sudan.’

It also Includes a claim that, Nunu Kumba is paying her private company and secondly employees are being paid by parliament which is misappropriation of public funds, just to mention but a few.

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