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Nimule acting head chief arrested over anti-demolition protest

Author: Madrama James | Published: Thursday, September 7, 2023

Acting Nimule Head of Chiefs Koma James addressing his community/courtesy

The Acting Chief of Nimule Payam has been arrested on orders by the President of Eastern Equatoria High Court.

Nimule Police Inspector Major David Casemiro told Eye Radio without stating the rationale behind Koma James’s arrest.

However, the move followed a protest yesterday by the area Women’s Association after a court ordered the demolition of their center.

This was after a man sued the group and its landlady on claims the land where the association constructed a building belonged to his late father.

The demolition order effective on Wednesday, was issued on August 10 by the Payam B Court before former chief Alira Willian.

He was removed late last month and replaced with the detained chief Koma James as the acting Head Chief of Nimule Payam

The order under the former leadership prompted the Women’s Association to stage a peaceful protest yesterday.

Speaking to Eye Radio, Nimule Police Inspector Casemiro confirmed the newly installed chief’s arrest Eye Radio adding his offenses are unknown to the police.

“Komas’ arrest was not in connection with the demolition of Women Center. It’s something different.

“The Court Order for his arrest came from the high court and the reasons behind are unknown to us [Police] but rather we received a warrant of arrest from the High Court that Koma has to be in Police Custody until further notice.

However, Alfred Otto the Nimule Central Quarter Chief who visited Koma James explains what could have led to the chief’s arrest.

“I visited the Police station today [Thursday] to find out why they have arrested my colleague Koma James?

“So they told me, Koma was arrested for mobilizing women to protest the local court demolition order. Koma was not beaten but he’s weak, he needs food to eat, and his health conditions are not good but generally okay.

“Therefore as local chiefs, we are requesting the local authority to release him. If there are some other issues, we can dialogue when he’s out of prison.

“If they’re going to demolish the women’s center meaning all of us [Chiefs] are going to resign from our respective positions. Because this is community building why do they want to demolish it,” he threatened.

On 31st August, the women’s lawyer Advocate Beda K. Anthony petitioned the decision and demanded should be overturned saying the Payam Court didn’t follow due process of the law.

In his written statement, he argued that the person who passed the judgment was from another Payam, not Nimule.

Lawyer Anthony said another reason is that the suing in court should have also applied to four other organizations existing on the same land adding that Chief refused to give a copy of the judgment.




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