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Relatives of jailed businessman John Agou plead for release.

February 15, 2018 (JUBA) -- Relatives of John Agou Wuoi, one of the 16 individuals allegedly involved in a corruption case at the office of the South Sudanese president in 2015, are demanding for his release.

South Sudanese businessman, John Agou Wuoi (courtesy photo)

Agou was arrested on 29 May, 2015 together with four Kenyans who were by then employees of his company, Click Technologies Limited.

He was among 16 people sentenced to life imprisonment for their role in the loss of $14 million and 30 million South Sudan Pounds (SSP).

Nine individuals, including the four Kenyans who were imprisoned for corruption charges in the office of the president, were released. The release of the Kenyans brought to 15 all the individuals released after the Supreme Court acquitted the six of them in September last year.

However, in a letter addressed to President Kiir, Agou's sister, Elizabeth Yom Wuoi wondered why her brother was the only individual excluded from the list of those pardoned by the president.

"Nevertheless, conspicuously absent from among the list of the beneficiaries of the recent presidential pardon was my brother Agou. There was no explanation as to why he was not among the 9 prisoners who received the pardon and yet were co-accused of the same offense," Yom wrote in the letter extended to Sudan Tribune. "A reasonable observer would argue that my brother [John Agou] has been treated unfairly and unjustly, for he would not have committed the alleged offense alone but for the alleged participation of the other co-convicts," she added.

Yom, writing on behalf of her family, questioned the rationale behind release of Agou's co-accused, with whom he was imprisoned.

"That is, if others who were accused of the same offense can receive presidential pardon, it stands to reason that my brother should equally have been pardoned. This was not the case".

The embattled South Sudanese businessman, he sister further disclosed, is seriously sick and suffers from chronic illnesses and he has been recommended by doctors for further medical treatment and management which are not possible within prison environment.

"He is languishing behind bars when he should have been released alongside his co-convicts. A Presidential Pardon is a prerogative of your office. It is a discretion constitutional bestowed upon you as president. It is not a legal right," Yom pleaded in her petition letter.

Such a decision, she added, be exercised fairly and even-handedly.

According to Yom, the South Sudanese leader has, on numerous occasions, pardoned corrupt officials found to have embezzled billions of tax payers' money and those who killed innocent civilians.

"The unjust and unfair treatment that my brother has received can only be remedied by your discretion. We submit that whatever he was convicted of is inexcusable under the law. Yet this is excusable by means of your prerogative. We believe that he has already paid, and way too much, for it," further reads Yom's letter to the president.

"Despite our apparent despair, I write this humble petition letter to you with both a heavy heart and hopefulness that you may find a place in Your Excellency's heart to accord my brother a similar treatment as that which other prisoners have been accorded," it adds.

Last month, the father of the South Sudanese businessman also wrote to Kiir, requesting the South Sudanese leader to pardon his son on humanitarian grounds.

John Wuoi Cuit, in a 28 January, 2018 letter extended to Sudan Tribune , appealed to the president to forgive his son like he did to the other individuals jailed together with Agou.

(ST)

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Publication:Sudan Tribune (Sudan)
Date:Feb 16, 2018
Words:607
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