Former Magwi County Commissioner David Otto Remson (Courtesy photo)

Jailed ex-Magwi county commissioner set free

Former commissioner of Magwi County David Otto Ramson, who has spent nearly five months in prison, was released on bail Tuesday afternoon.

Former commissioner of Magwi County David Otto Ramson, who has spent nearly five months in prison, was released on bail Tuesday afternoon.

David Otto Remson, along with Daniel Oringa, were detained in the Juba National Prison for alleged involvement in the killing of two businessmen. In August last year, two businessmen seeking to purchase bamboo in Agoro payam of Magwi County were killed, while two others managed to escape.

On 21 December last year, Eastern Equatoria State Governor Louis Lobong appointed David Eriga Enodius as acting commissioner of Magwi County following the detention of Commissioner David Otto in Juba.

David Otim, the Chairman of Acholi Community, told Radio Tamazuj that the former county commissioner was released after the victims’ families agreed to settle the matter out of court and received part of the blood compensation.

“Former Commissioner Hon. Otto David Remson was released yesterday at 2 pm on bail. The committee I appointed to handle this issue successfully negotiated with the main complainant, and we paid $42,000 in accordance with Dinka Customary Law. We still owe about $13,000, which we aim to settle within the next four weeks to resolve this matter completely,” Otim explained.

“It is true that both the former commissioner and a person named Daniel Oringa have been released on bail and are now in a safe location, undergoing medical treatment and psychosocial therapy. After three days, they will be reunited with their families,” he stated.

The Acholi community leader reiterated that the former commissioner was innocent of the murder accusation that led to his detention. He explained that the deceased were killed in the Acholi area, and the former commissioner took the responsibility on behalf of the community.

“We, as a community, value coexistence among all communities in South Sudan. Acholi is not isolated from others. Mistakes happen, and in this case, the main complainant sought blood compensation. Therefore, the committee decided to resolve the issue outside the court. There is no need to escalate it further,” he emphasized.

“We opted for a transitional justice approach to resolve this matter outside the court. The commissioner bore the consequences on behalf of the community, although he was not at fault. Similarly, Daniel Oringa had no involvement in the incident as he wasn’t present at the crime scene. They both bore the brunt of the situation on behalf of the community,” Otim stated.

He expressed gratitude to the seven sub-clans of Acholi, as well as the Madi and other communities in Eastern Equatoria, for their contributions to the former commissioner’s release. Otim also acknowledged the role played by some Acholi intellectuals who facilitated mediation behind the scenes for Otim’s release.