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Defrocked Jonglei archbishop sues church

Author: Garang Abraham | Published: Friday, November 27, 2020

Akur Ngong, defrocked archbishop | Credit | Courtesy

The embattled archbishop of Jonglei State Internal Province has sued the head of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan over what he calls “wrong defrocking procedures”.

Bishop Akur Ngong still wants Archbishop and Primate, Justin Badi Arama to rescind the decision that dismissed him from the Anglican Communion.

The Episcopal Church declared that it no longer recognizes Akur Ngong as the head of all the dioceses in the state.

But the defiant cleric insisted that he shall continue to serve the church in Jonglei, and declared they will operate as an autonomous entity from Juba.

According to Bishop Ngong’s press secretary, they have instituted a legal proceeding against Archbishop Justin Badi.

Phillip Maluak told Eye Radio on Friday that the second court hearing is scheduled for this afternoon at the High Court in Juba.

“He (Badi) didn’t use right procedures, he didn’t form what is called tribunal court. He can’t dismiss the high bishop, because the constitution mentions that yellow senate is the one that has authority to dismiss archbishop and primate,”Maluak stated.

The court hearing is being presided over by Judge Lawrence Yahaya.

In August, the Episcopal Church of South Sudan appointed Reverend John Panchol Kon Achiek as acting Bishop of the commissary for the Diocese of Bor.

The church insists Bishop Akur is disobedient and has violated by-laws and divided the ECSS followers.

But Akur rejected the assertions, claiming that Archbishop Justin Badi did not follow the right procedures in relieving him.

There are more than nine dioceses under the Jonglei State Internal Province, governed by the Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan.

A month after an exchange of controversial statements between Bishop Akur and Archbishop Badi, Michael Makuei who is the head of Greater Bor Community Association reportedly mediated between the two.

Earlier this month, elections were organized in Bor to elect a new Bishop.

Bishop Al-noor Ayom and Bishop Jooh Abraham contested for the position of Jonglei Internal Province. Bishop Al-noor was elected.

But his reception in Bor town has reportedly caused division among the church followers, leading to the closure of two churches there.

Eye Radio’s efforts to reach the South Sudan Council of Churches for comments on the court cases, were not immediately successful.

But in August, the Secretary-General of the Council of Churches told Eye Radio that he could not comment on issues related to Bishop Akur Ngong.

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