Director General of the Internal Security Bureau of National Security Service, Gen. Akol Koor (Courtesy photo)

Juba Court halts NSS eviction from lawyer’s property

A Juba court announced on Thursday a postponement in the enforcement of an order directing the eviction of the National Security Service (NSS) from the private property owned by Kiir Chol, a lawyer based in Juba.

The Juba High Court announced on Thursday a postponement in the enforcement of an order directing the eviction of the National Security Service (NSS) from the private property owned by Kiir Chol Deng, a lawyer based in Juba.

Last month, the High Court summoned Gen. Akol Koor, the Director General of the NSS’s Internal Security Bureau (ISB), to explain the persistent failure of his office to vacate Chol’s private property despite a court ruling and order. The High Court had ruled in favour of Counsel Chol in September after a legal dispute over the land, but the NSS has remained unwilling to comply with the eviction order.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj following the court session, Counsel Chol expressed disappointment saying the proceedings did not unfold as anticipated. He pointed out that that the NSS requested additional time from the court to obtain an order from the court of appeal. The presiding judge granted this request, extending the timeline by 10 days. The next court session is scheduled for December 18th.

“They submitted their appeal to the court of appeal. It’s important to note that the appeal they filed with the court of appeal differs from our current actions. Presently, we are engaged in the execution process or proceeding, carrying out the directives issued by the trial court. In this context, the law permits the involved party to seek an order from the court of appeal to temporarily halt the execution proceeding. If they successfully obtain such an order, the execution court can suspend the proceeding. However, at this moment,” Chol said.

“This trial has been fair, but the legal aspect concerning a reasonable time is crucial in my case. They have granted nearly 45 days, which exceeds the reasonable time stipulated by the Civil Procedure Act. The judge might be attempting to strike a balance. Allowing me to proceed or the court to enforce the demolition order poses a risk. If the Court of Appeal later overturns the trial court decision, it could result in an injustice. Therefore, the judge is trying to navigate a situation where demolition is avoided due to the ongoing appeal. I have faith in the judge; I don’t doubt that,” he added.

The Barrister stated that if the NSS obtains an order from the Court of Appeal, the execution proceedings would be halted and not proceed. However, if they fail to secure the order, he plans to pursue the option of petitioning the court to seek the president’s intervention in compelling the NSS to vacate his land.

“I have been attempting to present my case to the judge, emphasizing the need to seek the intervention of the Chairman of the National Security Council, who is the President of the Republic. This intervention would ideally involve advising or directing the Director of National Security to either carry out the eviction peacefully or vacate my plot,” Chol explained.

“We are actively seeking to avoid resorting to the use of force in executing the court order. If the court chooses to employ force, it may encounter obstacles, given the formidable nature of national security compared to the police. We are also keen on preventing any potential bloodshed that could arise from forcefully implementing the court order with these powerful institutions. This is precisely why I am urging the judge to address the matter through the President of the Republic, who serves as the Chairman of the National Security Council. The goal is to ensure a peaceful execution, prompting national security to vacate my plot,” Chol emphasized.

Highlighting the concern over the use of force, Chol continued, “If the court opts for a coercive approach, the inherent power dynamics between national security and the police may impede the process. Our primary objective is to steer clear of any confrontations that might lead to adverse consequences. Hence, the plea to the judge to consider involving the President in his capacity as the head of the National Security Council for a resolution that facilitates the peaceful removal of national security from my property.”

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