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Northern Bahr el Ghazal Governor critic faces jail for defamation

Juba, South Sudan,

July 12, 2021 – Outspoken critic of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State Governor Tong Akeen Ngor has been arrested and sentenced to eight months in prison with a fine of not less than 2 million South Sudanese Pounds.

Northern Bahr el Ghazal Governor critic jailed for defamation
Northern Bahr el Ghazal State Governor Tong Akeen Ngor (photo credit: Presidential Presidential Press Unit

A source who spoke to Nyamilepedia on condition of anonymity said the convict, identified as Samuel Garang Dut, was arrested for accusing Mr. Akeen of corruption and misappropriation of public funds.

“Samuel Garang Dut was arrested and taken to [Aweil High] Court where he was found guilty of defaming Governor Tong Akeen Ngor,” the source told Nyamilepedia.

“He is now serving an eight-month jail term and a fine of 2 million SSP,” the source said adding that Mr. Garang had posted on his Facebook wall the photo of a new half tower building allegedly belonging to Mr. Akeen.

Sources familiar with the legal verdict said Mr. Garang claimed, without evidence, that the Governor was building up the tower using public funds, a statement that angered Mr. Akeen who described the statement as defamatory before ordering the prompt arrest of Mr. Garang.

On Monday, 12 July 2021, a concerned youth from the State appealed to the Governor to pardon Mr. Garang saying the family that relies solely on him for survival was struggling to make ends meet.

“Dear governor of Northern Bahr El Ghazal State Hon. Tong Akeen Ngor,” reads the letter. “As we all know the impact of libel and slander on the personality, we are humbly still calling for the release of Samuel Garang Dut from the imprisonment as members of his family are having a hard time and sleepless nights,” he wrote.

Acknowledging that Mr. Garang has wronged Akeen, the concerned youth, who hails from Aweil, urged the Governor to go slow in the legal battle.

“Yes, he (Garang) might have done a mistake to you but as a leader who leads the people, you need to compromise no matter how it hurts your great reputation. You now won the race, and it’s a high time for you to pardon him, for there is no sitting government without any political opponents,” he said.

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