Gov’t official sentenced to 14-year jail term over corruption

Gov’t official sentenced to 14-year jail term over corruption

A high court in Juba yesterday sentenced a government official to fourteen years in prison for corruption.

Adiing Agudiyar, a financial controller at the Agricultural Bank of South Sudan, was proven guilty of giving uncovered cheques.

Agudiyar was among six individuals from the Agricultural Bank that the High Court General Prosecutor petitioned over alleged embezzlement of SSP 290 million and $40,000.

Speaking to The City Review in an exclusive interview yesterday, the Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), Edmund Yakani welcomed the court ruling.

Landmark conviction

He said that it was the first time that they are witnessing a public official being tried in a court of law for embezzling a huge sum of money in South Sudan.

“We congratulate the action taken by the government towards ensuring that accountability prevails because that is the only practical way to discipline corrupt officials,” he said.

He further urged the Judiciary to apply the same effort to any public official who will engage in the misappropriation of funds.

The activist added that embezzling money meant for promoting food security is like promoting starvation.

“The money in Agricultural Bank is meant to improve our food security through improved agricultural produce so that we do not starve,” he said.

Yakani said the verdict should serve as an example to others so that everyone is held accountable as no one is above the law.

The accused was discovered during an internal audit of the Bank.

However, the court acquitted five of the accused persons including the Bank’s Juba branch Manager, Pashay James, and the financial controller, Abraham Goum, Butrus Charles, Clement Augustino and Madut.

During a court verdict Wednesday, Adiing Agudiyar made a judicial confession of issuing uncovered cheques.

The High Court Judge Duoth Kulang convicted Agudiyar in accordance with section 351 of the South Sudan Penal Code 2008.

‘‘Adiing Agudiyar is sentenced to imprisonment for fourteen years from the date of his arrest on 11/2/2022 for violation of section 351 of South Sudan 2008 Penal act. And a fine of 500,000 pounds in case of non-payment Imprisonment for Violation of section 353 of South Sudan 2008 Penal act,” the ruling read.

The convict will also pay a different fine totalling nearly a million pounds or risk additional years of imprisonment.

Judge Duoth granted the defendant the right to appeal within 15 days.