JEDCO case on hold to allow more parties to join the suit
A high court has suspended a case pitting Kiirdit and Company Advocates against Juba Electricity Distribution Company (JEDCO) over electricity billing for sixty days to allow the plaintiff to file more suits against more parties.
Last month, Kiir Chol Deng Acuil of the Kiirdit Company Advocates in Juba filed a case against Juba Electricity Distribution Company (JEDCO) over the demand for hard currency for installation of power service including other nine points of concern which the group said was out of bound to the consumer.
After the defense lawyer of Juba Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd (JEDCO) submitted their legal defense to high court for the Kiir Chol Deng Acuil claims, the Company admitted and denied some of the written statement of claim against the company.
Thomas Remijo L. Lino—the defense lawyer of the JEDCO—presented his written statement whereby he dismissed most of accusations against the company, saying that it operates accordingly in compliance to section 38 sub section (a) of the civil procedure act 2007.
According to the JEDCO’s written document submitted to the court, the defense lawyer of the company said the written statement of the plaintiff is not in accordance to section 34 sub section (e) of the civil procedure act 2007 reason whereof there were no facts constituting the cause of action.
“The defendant is a legal body registered in the ministry of justice and constitutional development department of business registrar in accordance to section (6) of the company’s act 2012.
“The written statement of claim of the plaintiff does not disclose accuse of action and this is in contrary to section 38 sub section (a) of the civil procedure act 2007. Because cause of action is been define in Black’s law dictionary “cause of action is the fact or facts which gives person a right to judicial redress or relief against another,” the written document reads.
However, after receiving JEDCO’s responds, advocate Kiir Chol said after viewing the JEDCOs response that the “group notes that there are some particular institutions and individuals behind JEDCO’s matters.’’
He said his group has requested to give approval to sue other player in the JEDCOs case to explain some of the issues.
He said, “We requested the court stop the proceeding of the JEDCO case for 60 days to enable us to get the lip from the ministry of justice to sue the following institutions and individual government officials.
“These includes, the National Electricity Authorities, Ministry of the Electricity, Ministry of justice, the Central Bank of South Sudan, Governor of Central Bank and former Minister of Electricity Hon. Deu Matok these are the institutions that we are asking the ministry of justice to give us the approval to sue them in addition to JEDCO.”
According to Deng Kiir, it was the false of those institutions and individuals that allowed JEDCO to explore the situation as it is now.
He, however said the mentioned institutions and individual government officials have the legal duties to ensure that the electricity is regulated properly and according to the country’s law.
“So because of their fault, we are bringing them to court together with JEDCO to answer and clarify some complaints against them,” he added.
“Like Central Bank has to explain why would it paid US $3 million per month while the JEDCO is charging people in hard currencies and Hon. Dew as former minister of electricity will have to tell us how did he allow such agreement to happen,” he disclosed.
He said the law has not given any mandate to a government official or institutions to misuse their powers in such an open way, adding that what is happening is typically of misuse of power.
He said, there is out carry from the resident of Juba against JEDCO, because it looks like there is no regulatory authority, the JEDCO are left to do whatever they feel to do.
“We are going ahead after the high court given us green line, so the case of JEDCO is suspended for sixty day until we bring those institutions and other government officials for court to continue with proceedings.”
He said by law, the country is supposed to establish what is called National Electricity Regulatory Authority, which is the body that is supposed to regulate, and fix the charges of the electricity in the country.