Chief Justice Chan Reec Lacks Impartiality Regarding The 28 States’ Issue

 By Dr Lako Jada Kwajok,
South Sudan Chief Justice congratulating Salva Kiir on 28 states that the court was expected to revoke(Photo: file)

South Sudan Chief Justice congratulating Salva Kiir on 28 states that the court was expected to revoke(Photo: file)

Feb 21, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– Being trustworthy is not something that you could inherit, buy with your money or be awarded to you by someone, the community or any other entity. It has to be earned following numerous interactions between the person to be trusted and his or her colleagues in workplace or with members of the community. That person would undergo a sort of unintentional scrutiny of his or her actions and decisions that would shape at the end of the day his or her public image. It’s a slow process where confidence and reliability are central to it flanked by virtues such as honesty, selflessness, incorruptibility, fairness and the ability not to be afraid of telling the truth. It may take a while to gain the trust of the people around you – or it may entail a lifetime in the case of institutions, organisations or governments to earn the confidence of the communities or the populace. When a person is deemed trustworthy, it means the society has passed a favourable judgement on his or her moral standing in its entirety. However, when people lose trust in someone – it will be forever. Thus, the question that comes to mind is – was it worthwhile taking the issue of the controversial 28 states to the Supreme Court of South Sudan given the fact that the trustworthiness of the Chief Justice who presides over the court is questionable?The media widely publicised the endorsement of the presidential establishment order for the creation of the 28 states by the Chief Justice. It came in a congratulatory message to the  president in his capacity as the head of his clan. Now, how feasible that a different verdict would result from a court chaired by the Chief Justice following his open support of the presidential order? And should the Supreme Court rules favouring the 28 states, which is very likely, what would the opposition parties say? Would they say it’s a biased ruling from a kangaroo court? Then, would they not be challenged by the question – Why did you take your case to court in the first place when you well know that people have lost trust in the Chief Justice a long time ago?! Moreover, it would give the regime a most valued legal backing and extra ” ammunition ” for its relentless propaganda.

Chief Justice Chan Reec has been the centre of controversy on numerous occasions. Judge John Clement Kuc resigned in March 2013 accusing the Chief Justice of nepotism, lack of transparency and incompetence. In his resignation letter to the President, Judge Kuc said: ” I do not want to continue in a position where operation of the court is hindered by directives by persons within the executive branch of government using the judiciary as a rubber stamp.” He added I quote ” The current situation, he said, the rule of law has been replaced with the rule of tyranny.” These are the words of an insider which are very revealing of the ignominious state of affairs within the judiciary under the leadership of Chief Justice Chan Reec. I don’t know much about Judge Kuc but his words and the bold decision he took, gave the impression of an honourable fellow citizen. It is clear that our judiciary has lost the service of an honest judge who seemed to be more capable of a leading role than the current Chief Justice.

The following are excerpts from the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan:” the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction to decide on disputes that arise under this constitution and the constitutions of states at the instance of individuals, judicial entities or governments. It adjudicates on the constitutionality of laws or provisions of laws that are inconsistent with this constitution or the constitutions of states to the extent of the inconsistency. Furthermore, it states – The Bill of Rights shall be upheld, protected and applied by the Supreme Court and other competent courts; Human Rights commission shall monitor its application in accordance with this constitution and the law.” But did the Supreme Court follow the constitution in its ruling in the case of Pagan Amum, the SPLM Secretary General then in October 2013? In august 2013, Pagan Amum sued President Salva Kiir in the Supreme Court for curtailing his Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Movement. As we know a gag was imposed upon him, his movement was restricted and was literally under house arrest. On 30/10/2013, the Supreme Court of South Sudan threw his case away saying that he has not exhausted all the avenues in search of justice. It was an obvious example of an individual seeking justice following infringement on his civil liberties that are enshrined in the constitution, by the executive branch of the government.

There are no other competent courts in the country that has got the jurisdiction to deal with the said case. At the time, Lawyers for Democracy in South Sudan which is an independent organisation, Condemned the court ruling; accusing the Supreme Court Justices of acting in fear and failing to live up to their mandate. As the whole thing played out, Pagan Amum ended up with no court in the land of South Sudan willing to hear his case. As we speak, former Governor of Western Equatoria State ( WES ), Joseph Bangasi Bakasoro and Dr Leonzio Angole Onek of Juba University are both languishing in secret detention sites run by South Sudan National Security Services.  Since their arrest in December 2015, no formal charges have been brought forward by the government against them. The Supreme Court never weighed in on the matter so far and continued to be silent on two glaring cases of violation of the Bill of Rights.

Notwithstanding being a well educated person with reasonable experience, his tenure in office has been quite dismal or even disastrous. A decade or so in office saw no prosecution of corrupt officials and poor performance regarding enforcing the rule of law. More troubling is that allegations of corruption and nepotism have tarnished his reputation. In March 2013, the Chief Justice found himself in the midst of sharp public criticism and tried in vain to deny nepotism in his decision to appoint his daughter as a Legal Assistant. Here are excerpts from a lengthy statement by Justin Deng Mawien, a law graduate from Warrap state ” I couldn’t believe Justice Chan would do that when I saw the name of his daughter on the list of those he appointed. I know her myself. They were ( Justice Chan Reec’s children ) by far behind me. I finished high school when they were still in Primary. I finished university when some of his children were sitting Sudan School Certificate. I have not gotten a permanent job until now because of the claims of lack of jobs. Where did these jobs in which they are employing their own children come? This is a clear act of nepotism. Just tell me what does this mean you people in the media. To me it’s pure corruption and nothing more.”  With the above account, it’s no wonder that the Chief Justice has lost esteem among the majority of the South Sudanese people. In a democratic government he would have been made to resign his post or forced into early retirement as he has become a liability to the judicial institutions of South Sudan.

The National Alliance of 18 South Sudan political parties has demanded Chief Justice Chan Reec not to chair the petition seeking suspension of the presidential establishment order for the creation of 28 states. They have accused him of turning the Supreme Court into an institution devoid of impartiality. The right thing to do would be for Chief Justice Chan Reec to recuse himself from the case as there is a clear conflict of interest here. There is no guarantee that this will happen and even if it did unexpectedly, the opposition parties well know that President Kiir appointed the other Supreme Court Justices. Therefore, the absence of the Chief Justice from the court hearing makes no difference concerning the outcome. It’s a futile approach to the matter by the opposition parties. Rather than wasting their time in the pursuit of a solution in a biased and dysfunctional Supreme Court, they should focus on supporting the full implementation of the peace agreement both in spirit and letter. That alone will provide the remedy for the conflict arising from the 28 states’ issue.

The author, is a concern South Sudanese. He can be reached at lako.jada@hotmail.com

13 comments

  • Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

    Correction: And should the Supreme Court rule rather than rules ( paragraph 10 ).

  • Dr. Lako,

    once again, this is a agreat article and is very great to educate every citizen of this country who hate bad governance. My name is DINGIT NA TUGGÖ, to those who do not know BARI LANGUAGE, my name means only the length of time explains better than any body. What Dr. Lako wrote in his article is supported by the length of the time of the evil deeds of all jenge right from Anyanya 1 upto today. Enough is enough, no more beating around the bush. See how many evidence of bad rule the jenge have shown to us? FEDERAL RULE IS AN ANSWER. Let them go to their states. We can not mend these thieves. They inheritated these behavous from their states. They are cattle raiders and they turn into Public fund raiders. Oh no, no and BIG NO.

    Now they talk to take their case of 28 tribal stated for referundum. First they said it was the demand of the people, which people. And if it is already the demand of the people, is there any need to take it for referundum? Sheet, they must swallow their own states. If they are unable, then let them join us in the 10 states.

    tolio, beek and amen………………….hahahahahahahahaha. Did you really see the future when you talked loud about the 28 states? See what I told you is now happening. boys…….. follow the News. Slowly Lueth is giving in. Where are you and where are Your 28 states?

    • Tolio

      DINGIT NA TUGGÖ

      I speak Bari and your fake name means -“anyiti” in Bari dialect. Tell me what a translation of Bari word anyiti to English language is.

      You can’t get a first deputy high court judge to chief judge Chan Reec Madut if that is what you wanted.Court is not place of ethnic representations like in government where vice presidency is given to certain ethnics.

      Don’t worry about the referendum. Our governors have already formed their cabinets and votes will be in favour of more states.

  • tolio,

    good that you know BARI, I ask you to know the culture too. This will teach you not to be a land grabber. It will teach you not to raid your neighbour’s cattle when you go home to mix yourself with your cow dung.

    tolio, just as there is no any jebel dinka and will never be any jebel jenge in Juba, only JEBEL LADO, also there is no any word “anyiti” in BARI. Mind you, am so happy that you are already giving in. Last time you resist that the 28 states is a call of people and there is no any way for referundum. Today you agree to take it to the people for referundum, hahaahahaa idiot tolio. We do not want you opening your big toothless mouth about the affairs of this country. But am so happy that you are aready giving in. Go and join you jenge Council of awirin and go on raiding Your cattle. There is no any way for you to steal Public Money. The reforms are around the corner. UNDERSTAN?

    tolio, do not panick. Follow the Peace agreement Development. You are losing ground. You know that very well. Where is you dirty cow horn? Is it still in Your ass? Am still lecturing you okey

    • Tolio

      DINGIT NA TUGGÖ

      Learn your Bari culture? What a waste of time. You, Bariopithecuses(lol) have nothing to teach Dinka people. We learn Bari and others to collect data for security purposes, not that we have interests in learning dialects of other ethnic groups.

      The gov’t got the GPS mapping of all places in South Sudan. It names any place how it suites the nation. Jebel Dinkal or Jieng is the only name that our GPS recognizes. What you called jebel Lado is obsolete. After all, who knows or cares about the mysterious name- Lado? Not us.

      There are no grounds we are losing in the implementation of peace. It is in our hands. We know what our interests are.

      As for cow dung,it is better than your own poo. Cow dung is used as manure. It is used as fuel to produce thermal energy. People pain or plaster walls of their village houses with cow dung because it acts as an insulator which keeps heat from the sun away.
      The ash of cow dung is a medical powder which cures and prevents scabies and other skin related diseases, if apply on human’s skins.

      The urine of cows is used as an environmental friendly fertilizer that is good for healthy growing of crops.

      Cows live as a colony, a sign of being sociable. You should learn this culture from them. It is called natural philosophy.

      What is your human poo or urine is good for? Nothing. Its smell is unbearable. People run away from it, vomiting.

      It is time you stop cattle phobia.If you can drink its milk, though I know Nyinyam like you adds some salt in it which is gross and then eat its meat or wear its leather as a component of shoes you have,you should man up and embrace all the benefits of the cows.

  • tolio,

    follow the fresh News in the sudantribune. Lueth anounced that there is no any formation of TGoNU until Dr. Machar arrives Juba. Do you have any objectin in Your diry heart? I know you do not want it this way but there is no any other way for you, only must swallow the hot fire. Take care of the remnance of Your teeth.

  • Tolio

    DINGIT NA TUGGÖ

    It is not only the formation unity government that is put off until later resumption but also constitutional amendments due to deadlocking.

    These are bad because they prolong desires of IDPs who want to return home so that they can start rebuilding their chartered lives and dreams as a result of war. The postponements also put behind the schedule and keep extending the need for speeding up transitional period stipulated in the peace agreement to last after three years.

    Transitional period is a time of no fucking progress and it is a desire of every good South Sudanese to see it end as soon as possible. Only Jubahabillis(lol) like you think it means speedy development.

    The peace was acquired and signed in the interest of putting the needs of ordinary South Sudanese first thing and to see the nation develops above that of politicians but Riek Machar thinks he owns it. He is dragging his feet, though the government has given his advanced team good security in Juba with the capital now demilitarized.

  • tolio,,

    hahahahhahaahha…………..boy, mr kiir’s cattle keeper., what you talk about benefits of your cows is not seen in this country. you and your cows brought destruction, land grabbin, cattle raiding in your own areas which has become an arian jenge culture which is always followed by rapping small girls. Can you deny it? if you do, then you are a true fool. read for you the following:

    a. 16 government officials from the Office of the president are taken to Court for stealing 14
    million USD.
    b. the South Sudan chief justice is called a bias and has lost his qualification to represent true
    justice of the nation because he supported dinka in the illegal creation of the 28 tribal states.
    this report is issued by 18 South sudan political parties.
    What do you say about these big ambarrasment? Of course you are an animal With an animal dream that there is benefit from you as you put it. Nothing good from you only looting of public fun. See all these 16 officials stealing direct from president’s office.

    • Tolio

      Cattle are not destructive, you hairy ass chimp(lol). They are environmentally friendly.Their dung and urine turn infertile agricultural hectares of lands into productive crops fields that are lucrative to sustain humans lives.

      Cattle are part of the industries which come very handy. Where crops failed due to droughts, milk,cheese,ghee and meat is readily available in the dishes of Dinkas. Cattle keeping communities are self sufficient than those who put all their eggs in one basket.

      Cattle sales generate cash to purchase manufactured commodities we lack in our own backyards. It is the reason why we don’t rely on foreign relief serves such as the United Nations’ WFP.

      Land grabbing you constantly talk of doesn’t exist. Lands of Dinkas are neither overpopulated nor do they not sustain their lives and above all, Dinkas are never landless. There is no evidence of this in the history of Sudan or South Sudan. That is why they can never grab lands of others.

      Dinkas don’t raid cattle of other cows rearing ethnic groups who neighbor them but if they do, it is in retaliation to exact the rustling of their cattle which their neighbours initiated against them. This is fair because, there is no way in hell any Dinka man can let someone else takes his prestigious assets to better himself with them.

      Raping doesn’t exist in Jieng culture. If it happens, we take laws into our own hands and kill the culprits for it.
      Senior female commander Aguer Gum, a Dinka of SPLM has draconian rules that outlaws raping in the entire South Sudan and it is also outlawed in the SPLM manifesto. Offenders used to get death penalties and it probably hasn’t changed.

      Dinkas have always culturally outlawed immoral and alien practices such as prositution, adultery and fornication.

      Being arien is cultural and we take pride in it. The nudity we have isn’t sexually oriented or suggestive as you think.
      Westerners know our nudity and the define it differently. They say any nudity without other bodily expressions isn’t dirty or sexual. So, Dinka’s arieness isn’t lewd as you preach. Dinkas are not the only ones in the world and there are many races whose being in birthday suit is part of their culture. Get over this stuff.

      As for six officials who are taken to court because of their implications in the missing public funds, no body is against their convictions. It is what the law is good for. It is the intention of the government that mismanagement of public funds through corruption is zero tolerant and that is why it has brought them to spotlight where they answer for actions. That is good governance if you can punish the offenders through justice.

      The chief justice has never lost his qualifications. It is ordinary citizens who should disqualify him,not coalition of 18 political parties which represent nobody,except their own individual interests aimed at ascending to power. Any removal of an independent head of judicial system through politicization is itself biased. Of course only humans can understand this, not apes like you.

  • tolio,

    try to borrow human mind than your present animal mind and go back to your previous comments so that you find out exactly what you said.

    you now accept the fact that the peace is signed for the interest of the ordirnary citizen. were willing to sign this peace or it was forced on you. have you lost ground or not? You said you must not see the IO in Juba, but we are here in Juba. have you lost ground or not? you said you will never take your tribal states for referundum, but now you cry to do that. are you losing ground or not? you said you will never see Dr. Riak and Laso Gore in Juba but they are coming very very soon. Are you losing ground or not?

    tolio, you are very stupid animal. The IO and the G10 signed the peace right in Adis Ababa while kiir refused until he was forced to that in Juba. Here who is dragging his feet.
    You even insisted not to see more than 300 members of the Advanced team from the IO coming to Juba. But now they are going be more than the 600. what explaination can give.

    listen here poor boy. We are not only after the formation of the TGoNU. We are after massive reforms wether you like it or not. You must accept it, We are heading for true democracry not a dinkacracy. What we know is that we are heading the right way. The accountability of Juba massacre carried by you is waiting for you. I tell you, the jenge Council of awirin will never enjoy the future of the coming democracy. Keep my words and ask me soon.

    • Tolio

      DINGIT NA TUGGÖ

      If the peace was imposed, it is imposed on the government and rebels as a whole. It was accepted because it is done in favour of ordinary citizens who are impartial in the power struggle conflict and they are the most people our government cares. It is not because government couldn’t thwart the peace imposters. If it has refused, it would have been denying its own ordinary people comfortability which is irresponsible

      I have never said, I mustn’t see members of the SPLM-IO in Juba. This is your own invention.what I disagreed is demilitarization of Juba to accommodate forces of the SPLM-IO,however this has been worked out well. Your forces are not as many as our forces in the joined security arrangement. We still have upper hand in the capital and cantonment sites around Juba. It is a false idea that the government has lost grounds to you. Launch the war again with your SPLM-IO forces who are and will be in Juba, if you doubt our defenses.

      You lying midget, nobody ruled out the referendum on the establishment of 28 states. The people in favor are against any scrapping of new states without fair reasonable grounds. Using politicized claims that the creation annexed lands from others without proofs is what anybody who likes 28 states doesn’t want to see being used as a factual justification of annulling those states.

      If there are benefits of your mysterious reforms, they will be there because we have a democratic government that is always receptive of good ideas, not because of your magic. Besides, the government is ethnically diverse than your so-called SPLM-IO. Of the total number of ministerial portfolios given to the SPLM-IO, Equatorians and Shilluks got less while Nuers dominated all of you. As you can see, your assess are kicked around in the middle like soccer balls(lol).

      You are a minority and democracy is an oppression of minorities. Perhaps, you should give up democracy and embrace things like socialism and communism.may be they will make you better off than you are now.

  • tolio,

    we understand democracy oppresses the minority. but the democracy of jenge which is accompanied by theft, nepotism, land grabbing, rapping, massacre. Do you call it democracy, just because you are the majority and can defend all these evil deeds of jenge tribe? We do not care wether we are the minority or not. We need things to be done ethically and morally and we want a true rule of law.

    Politics could be won by coalation. We have decided to join the side which do not murder people like you who do kill others just because you are the majority as you put it. As I tell you from time to time that the 64 tribes of this country already know that you and jenge council of awirin are thieves. We are going to work hard to see that FEDERAL RULE is put in place. you and your being a majority can be as you want and in your states. This is going to happen.

    tolio, you must note this. you said we are kicked around by dinka and nuer, yet we have better life in our states than in jenge or nuer areas. You know this very, very well. You count the IDPs, how many equatorians are there? I know you do not understand. We equatorians are not cattle raiders, are not killers, are not land grabbers. We have decided to join IO to see that reforms are put in place wether you are the majority or not. you idiot, we just do not want you to steal Money. Enough is enough. Yes, you stole all the public Money from 2005 upto 2012, build bor and many of your areas. See what happened in 2013. the same tolio the cow and jenge destroyed bor, bentiu and malakal. all beautiful building built by the Money from the donars and oil are all gone. Equatorian did not get any Money from the oil or donars. but yet we are the best.

    tolio, what is the use of directing all the wealth to your states, build your states and destroy all the building. ANSWER ME YOU DOG AND COW. Dr. Machar’s house in Juba was destroyed. Do you know that it is a lose to the contry? We will never leave you to continue With your diry behavious in this county even if you are the majority as you said. I view you as my student when you come out With the Word that you are the majority. Do not steal even if you are the majority okey.

    tolio, if you think you are a majority and to rule this county without accepting your mistakes, then do not say you know the Word Democracy. Try to study ethic. After studying this you will come to learn that it is not good to defend a thief. do you get me right. just yesterday, 14 million case was in the Court. Do you support this, of course yes and you Call it a decracy because you are the majority.

    tolio, you are really animal but I never give up lecturing you til you manage TO GET OUT YOUR COW cow horn from your ass. okey.

    • Tolio

      DINGIT NA TUGGÖ

      You chimp huggger,your concerns about land grabbing, cattle raiding,rape and 14 government officials taken to court in connection to alleged money theft are already addressed under the comments ” cattle are not destructive, you hairy……chimp(lol)”. They are environmentally friendly. The remarks were written and posted February 24,2016 as seen above. I Only forgot to write your name on top before commenting.