E Lakes MPs released from detention, relieved from positions

Hon. Ater Jeremiah during interview at Eye Radio studio on Tues, Nov 7, 2017 | Photo | Emmanuel Akile

The three members of parliament in Eastern Lakes who were detained in August for allegedly violating rules and regulations of the state, have been released from detention.

One of the lawmakers, Barnaba Madeu, said they were freed on Monday afternoon without charges.

The other two are Ater Jeremiah, who was earlier released on medical grounds; and Marial Amuom.

“Right now we are already out. We have just come from the secretariat general. We are now free,” said Mr Madeu.

“Sincerely for the ninety days that I have been in detention, there have never been charges presented to us; even now.”

The Minister of Information in Eastern Lakes, Abraham Majak, earlier confirmed to Eye Radio that the governor of Eastern Lakes had ordered for the release of the three individuals.

But he said they will be “closely monitored” and arraigned in court.

Majak said the three the three individuals were also stripped of their positions and replaced last week after consultations with the state assembly and the national government.

“The governor is the chairman of the party and the chairman of the party must be consulting the chairman of the party at the national level, who is the president of this country, General Salva Kiir Mayardit. So there was nothing that was done in secret,” he said.

Last week, Ater Jeremiah, who was released on medical grounds, accused the state governor’s bodyguards of torturing them while in detention.

But the governor, Bor Wutchok, has not commented on the matter.

Two week ago, the council of states summoned the Eastern Lakes governor over the detention.

Members of the council said the arrests were illegal because the MPs did not have immunity withdrawn and they were not presented warrant of arrest.

The 2011 transitional constitution stipulates that no criminal proceedings or charges shall be initiated or undertaken against any legislator without permission from the speaker of parliament in the event of serious crime.

However, according to a report by the governor, the three MPs were found violating state rules and regulations including drinking alcohol during working hours.

Bor Wutchok said the MPs were also inciting violence against the state authority through social media, leading to the arrests.