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Committee to grill ex-Bor mayor over land scandal

Committee to grill ex-Bor mayor over land scandal
Samuel Ateny Pech at a an event in Bor, Jonglei State, in March 2023 | Credit | Courtesy

The governor of Jonglei State has set up a high-level committee tasked with questioning the former mayor of Bor town over an alleged land scandal.

The land scandal includes illegal selling and leasing of private and public lands to individuals and companies during the tenure of Samuel Ateny Pech.

Ateny was dismissed from his position in February after a women’s association staged protests against a private developer who had claimed to have bought the private land from the municipal council.

To address the matter, Governor Denay Jock Chagor formed a seven-member investigation committee comprising of cabinet members.

Speaking to Mingkaman FM via phone from Bor, the Chairperson of the Committee and also the Minster of Roads and Bridges – James Mawich Makuach – said Ateny will soon be summoned by the ad hoc taskforce.

“There is no duration given to us to carry out the investigation. The findings will be out when when we have gathered the facts,” Mawich said.

The areas include women group plots No.282 and 444, Zain company plot No 1 and 2, and public Toilet No.88. The chair stated that the committee has already suspended any works on the plots.

“So, I would like to let our people know that our investigation will be fair, and we are going to do it without any influence from others,” he added.

In response, Ateny claims he is yet to receive the official communication from the committee.

“I just saw the document online; and in the document, I am not mentioned. The order is not specific to me or direct to me,” he asserted.

Meanwhile, the deputy governor of Jonglei State, who doubles as the chairman of the SPLM party in the state – Jacob Akech Dengdit – rejected the formation of the committee.

Akech says he was not consulted in the decision-making in accordance with the Revitalize peace agreement, which says parties to the agreement must exercise cooperation and good working principles in the states.