Police detains anti-graft chair in Aweil

Police detains anti-graft chair in Aweil
Chan Deng Marol was arrested for allegedly exposing corruption in the state.

The chairperson of the anti-corruption commission in Northern Bar El Ghazal State is being detained after his immunity was lifted to pave the way for his arrest. 

The whistleblower is being held over a corruption report he released in August 2022.

Chan Deng Marol, a lawmaker representing Aweil South County at the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly termed the arrest as “shocking” adding that it is in violation of the peace agreement.

He alleged that Anei was arrested by the state police and detained at the state police unit. According to Marol, Anei, as the chair of anti-corruption, was alerting the government about ongoing corruption in the state to help fight the vice.

The Minister of Information in Northern Bar El Ghazal State, William Manyon Kuol, alleged that Anei was arrested while trying to escape to go to court to defend the anti-corruption report he released in May.

Manyon said the state minister of finance opened a case against him before the governor lifted his immunity, but he continued to report to the office using his party.

“The authorities decided to arrest him because he is now trying all means to dodge the court,” Manyon said.

“We thought that he has evidence, so he can also go to court and provide them, and if they have proven that these people have taken the money; then it will be upon the government and entire people of Northern Bar El Ghazal to see who has now embezzled their money.”

Manyon refuted the claim by lawmaker Chan Deng that the governor had no right to lift Anei’s immunity. The minister argued that Anei was sworn in by the governor where he got his immunity and that he is accountable to the governor.

“He reports to the Governor.” He doesn’t report to President Kiir or Dr Riek Machar… which means he is accountable to the governor, so the governor is the appropriate person to lift his immunity. “

Anei’s immunity was lifted in a letter addressed to him by the governor of Northern Bar El Ghazal State, Tong Akeen Ngor, dated September 14, 2022, to clear alleged accusations levelled against him at the state police.

In a report he released on August 25, 2022, Anei alleged that the government of Northern Bar El Ghazal did not account for the use of $317, 000 in personal income tax (PIT) funds, SSP 260 million in national grants to the state, and revenues amounting to SSP 30 million monthly.

He also accused the governor of blocking him from meeting to present the findings of the anti-corruption commission on how the state’s resources are spent, adding that the government does things without the knowledge of the other state officials.