National, News

Kalisto’s Lawyer reports intimidation

By Charles K Mark


A law firm representing Kalisto Lado, detained former mayor of Juba City Council, has reported incidents of harassment and intimidation to the East African Court of Justice.

The Pan African Law Chambers, LLP, Advocates and Attorneys, on Thursday, April 29, 2024, submitted a complaint letter to the East African Court of Justice (EACJ).

“Your Lordship, we are submitting a complaint letter in respect to the National Security Service Agents’ intimidation of Advocate Wani Santino Jada,” the letter partially reads.

Advocate Wani Santino Jada, through his law firm, African Law Chambers LLP, sued the Republic of South Sudan at the EACJ for having infringed on the fundamental and constitutional rights of the former Mayor of Juba, Kalisto Lado, who has been kept incommunicado to date.

After filing the certificate of urgency in MISC. Application No. 17 of the 2024 Arising from Reference No. 18 of 2024 at around 4:43 p.m., the firm said two National Security Personnel in civilian clothes armed with pistols came to the Law Chambers (Law Firm) premises.

Located at Airport Road in Juba, the alleged elements entered the premises and stated that they were instructed from above to inform Advocate Wani to back off from the case.

Article 3 of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011, as amended on the Supremacy of the Constitution, states that the Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan derives its authority from the will of the people and shall be the supreme law of the land.

This literally carries a binding force on all persons, institutions, organs, and agencies of government throughout the country. This includes the NSS agents and their bosses.

And again Article 136 (2) of the same Constitution mandates Advocates to promote, protect and advance the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Citizens and clause (2) depicts that advocates shall serve to prevent injustices and defend the legal rights and interests of their clients.

The letter from the East African Court of Justice also demanded that the advocates be allowed to write and speak to their clients.

The litigation privilege protects advocates by preventing intimidation against them by individuals, government institutions, and even the respondent agents.

The Law Chamber added that the action of Advocate Wani is for the benefit of his client and of the public at large.

It cautioned the government to grant the advocate the liberty to exercise his functions with independence and without fear of consequences.

“Administration of justice would be greatly impeded if advocates were to operate in fear that any disgruntled and possibly impecunious persons against whom they represent in court might subsequently subject them to threats,” the EACJ letter emphasized.

It also assured that Advocate Wani is not backing off in any of the matters before the court.

“His actions are for the protection of the rule of law and the fundamental rights of his client as required and protected by the Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan,” the court further stated.

“Based on several records of the habits of kidnapping, killing, forceful disappearances, and torture of its citizens by the Respondent Security agents, we therefore seek the intervention of the Court to direct the Attorney General of the Republic of South Sudan to inform the NSS agents to refrain and be restrained from harassing and intimidating Advocate Wani Santino Jada of the M/S Pan African Law Chambers, LLP, from executing his mandate as an advocate,” the law firm appealed.

A civil society activist, Bol Deng Bol, took to his social media handle to condemn the reported intimidation of Advocate Wani, describing the act as “unfortunate” and cheaply selling out the country’s image.

“This shameful act is highly condemned. The Security Agency should do the needful instead: release #FreeKalisto or arraign him in a competent court of law if he has a case to answer,” he wrote.

“These unnecessary threats, harassment, and intimidations do nothing but sell our country to the world cheaply,” activist Bol added.

Meanwhile, the government Attorney General, who earlier acknowledged the court’s summons to appear before the East African Court of Justice to answer queries about Kalsito’s whereabouts, has yet to respond to the report of lawyer Wani’s intimidation claims.


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