By staff writer,
January 10, 2017 (Nyamilepedia) —– A heavily armed contingent of South Sudan National Security Service’s General Intelligence Bureau (GIB) stormed the Office of Chief Justice, Chan Reech Madut on Thursday (5th January 2017) in an apparent attempt to arrest one of his aides as well as to search and confiscate documents and computers belonging to the aide allegedly for “leaking sensitive documents to the media, a highly placed source within the South Sudan’s Judiciary said.
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The source who was speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media say that the security operatives had accosted the aide while he was heading back to the office after the lunch break. “The security operatives pounced on him and threw him into a Toyota Land Cruiser Pick-up that had been parked near the premises of the Judiciary before driving him away”, the source said. It later emerged that the security operatives took the aide to his house where they conduct search looking for laptop computers and flash disks. “After failing to find laptop computer and flash disks at the house of the aide, the heavily armed security operatives brought him back to his office and entered the office forcefully with their guns and ordered other employees in the office to raise their hands in the air and surrender to them immediately or they will shoot them on the spot. They entered the office with their guns threatening and shouting to shoot on the spot anyone who resist arrest or refuse to cooperate with them”.
The scuffle at the office of the aide attracted the attention of the Chief Justice who was in the office at the time of the incident. “As this shouting and scuffle was going on, the Chief Justice appeared from his office inquiring about what was going on as the visibly shaken aide was being manhandled by the security personnel”, says the source.
One security officer who was leading the force shouted back at the Chief Justice telling him, “we have orders from above to arrest your aide and confiscate computers belonging to him and take him to GIB Headquarters because he has been leaking sensitive documents to the media about the case of the 16 persons convicted for corruption in the President’s office”, the source added.
The visibly agitated Chief Justice told the security operatives to “immediately stop the illegal search and follow the correct procedures if they have complaints against any of his aides”, added the source.
Another staff at the Office of the Chief Justice who witnessed the kidnapping of the aide earlier said he had reported the matter to the Chief Justice who placed immediate calls to the Minister of Justice, Paulino Wanawilla, Minister for National Security Services in the Office of the President, Gen. Obuto Mamur Mete, Director General of General Intelligence Bureau, Gen. Thomas Duoth Guet and the Director General of Internal Security Bureau, Gen. Akol Koor Kuc to inform them of the situation at his office. “Within no time, the two Ministers accompanied by the two spy chiefs arrived at the office of the Chief Justice and ordered for arrest of the senior security officers who were leading the operations before entering the Office of the Chief Justice for a lengthy meeting that lasted more than three hours”, the staff said.
Another source privy to the meeting said that the Minister of National Security Services and his two Director Generals denied any knowledge of such operations. “In particular, the Director General of GIB, Gen. Thomas Duoth Guet expressed utter shock and dismay at the actions of his junior officers and promised the Chief Justice and his boss Gen. Obuto Mamur Mete to thoroughly investigate the matter and take serious actions against his indiscipline junior officers who were behind this unfortunate incident”, the source added.
One of the relatives of the kidnapped aide speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of his life said that the security operatives blindfolded the aide after kidnapping and took him to undisclosed location. “They interrogated him telling that they have been monitoring his phone communications as well as that of the Appellate Judges who are hearing the appeal case of the 16 persons sentenced to life imprisonment for corruption in the Office of the President”.
“They have even gone further to carry out surveillance on these judges and their employees, they are tracking their every movements and those of their close associates”, stressed the security source. He added that this “”assignment” is headed by Col. Napoleon Adok Gai with support from Lt. Col. Guem David Diing, Maj. Charles Andrew Churukali and 1st Lt. Adiing Deng, all from the General Intelligence Bureau.
The security source who was contacted by the media to comment on the current action of the National Security Service says that “the case against the 16 persons sentenced to life imprisonment has shaken some people from the Office of the President, the National Security Service and the Judiciary in the wake of the recent revelations by the Legal Watch Associates that poked holes in the manner in which justice was administered from the time the suspects were arrested, arbitrarily detained, investigated, tried and convicted with the most severe and maximum conviction under the law. “Certain individuals at the highest level of the National Security Service and the Office of the President are so jittery now their lies have been exposed and the public knows the truth about the alleged corruption case in the President’s office”, .
“This latest action from the National Security Service to storm the Office of Chief Justice, harassed his aides and threatened to shoot them on the spot, conduct illegal searches and confiscate computers is tantamount to attack on the Judiciary and the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan and should be condemned in the strongest terms possible”, a senior lawyer told this reporter on condition of anonymity for fear of his life.