Home | Comment & Analysis    Saturday 17 March 2018

President Kiir should extend equal justice recognition to John Agou


By Deng Kur Deng

Dear Mr. President,

Is is the quest for equal justice that urges me to write to you today. Our quest didn’t begin with us, but it starts with you. All you have done for your entire life is a fight for equal justice and you have achieved it—independence for our country! You have dedicated your life, not for your own vanity but for the betterment of our people. You did this while suffering the consequences of the life in the bush. You have achieved justice through both the barrel of a gun and through peace.

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South Sudanese businessman, John Agou Wuoi (courtesy photo)

Now, Mr. President, we are torn between what is acceptable and what is not in conjunction with the constitution of our country. Our country is experiencing mounting social problems, and you have never stopped pushing hard every single day for stability. This is a true component of a leader. You have done your part in stitching together the lives of our people through fairness, integrity, honesty, protection, and values of human dignity. We, the people, have earned it.

The aforementioned ideals lead me to the case against my cousin, Agou John Wuoi.

When 16 individuals were arrested, the South Sudanese became alarmed and their curiosity level was awakened. Corrupt leaders were to be equally pursued and brought to answer to their accusations in the court of law.

We, the family members of Agou, have become increasingly frustrated because of the result of the pardon you granted in the case against 14 individuals. We believe the case has been manipulated to negatively affect one person out of the 14. To be honest, Mr. President, nagging, and critical attitudes aren’t what we stand for. We believe in pure justice. We believe that mistakes and consequences work together, hand in hand. Anything short of that is doomed to promote dishonesty and that becomes obstruction of the very justice you work so hard to promote.

To create harmony, justice must stand to balance and try cases according to the crime. As such, it brings positive or negative consequences upon those who were accused of the crime and would result in a well-justified verdict. In his case, Agou did not take a self-justifying position to deceive the government when the case was brought before the court.

So, where are the facts that are keeping him behind bars while those accused of the same indistinguishable crime were released? Justice is needed to be in place, not for the rationalization, but as a commitment of the constitution to protect the people as it does to the leaders. On its own, the lengthening of Agou’s prison sentence certainly fits the definition of injustice.

This injustice committed against this young man, which has transformed his family, was based on a decision taken into consideration in your office. It is distorting your readiness and fairness in our country. This is because of the recent dramatic decision to pardon 14 others. This decision was made by you, Mr. President. Sadly, leaving Agou in prison has, indeed, violated the fundamental fabric of our constitution. It is obvious that the injustice committed towards Agou has encouraged me, and our family, to seek nothing but justice for him.

Just as in the life of any young person, a young man in the capacity of Agou is not immune to rash acts and hasty decisions. Even you, Mr. President, as a youth, you might have made mistakes and bad decisions. However, facts must be stated. Agou is known to be a man of principles and few words. He was less likely to be involved in the petty things that many young men and young women are caught up doing.

When Agou was a little boy, he was known to be well disciplined, respectful, and less likely to interfere with authorities. In fact, he remains one of the well restrained even as a young adult. These characteristics have not changed in him. To be honest, I have never seen him fighting with anyone, not even his siblings or us, his cousins.

Agou is known for his constructive approaches for the betterment of others. Personally, I have known Agou to be a vivacious, vibrant leader based on characteristics he has always presented to family and those in his circle of friends. Agou’s father, John Wuoi Chuit is not a man who is easily impressed, but he has always trusted Agou’s leadership.

That instinct has not changed. Mr. President, I am not writing to educate you about Agou, but I am writing to express facts and ask you to give Agou a chance to reconstitute his life and to figure out how things went this far. Treat him as you would to your own son, Mayar, whose level of mistakes can rise to the level where Agou is currently.

As we speak, Mr. President, you have recently opened the door to those citizens and foreigners who were involved in a crime against the state. We are wondering what is your interpretation of leaving one person in prison among those who were equally accused of the same crime? After you stepped up against crime in South Sudan, the South Sudanese were on the same page with you. You took justice first by doing what many South Sudanese wanted their government to do.

Your government, for the first time, took seriousness to the next level. All were curious to know if justice would be employed at the highest level, along with your powers as President. Those who were accused were eventually apprehended and they were brought before the court of law to answer questions about their involvement in crime against the state. This was a good step in furthering law and order in known corruption that has invalidated our constitution.

Mr. President, the effectiveness of our constitution is with your executive powers and, of course, with the power of the judicial system. However, citizens fear the constitution is growing powerless or is, at least, immobilized due to favoritism or regionalism of some sort in the country. Unfortunately, the unthinkable happened to one young man outside the court of law.

We feel the deception of the law when Agou was only victimized through a strategy that does not describe the law to its fullest. When we focus on inside-out principles, we fear our constitution was diverted to focus more on connection rather than the strength of the constitution of the land.

You and I know the constitution only keeps promises to the people when there is consistency in its practices. Opposite of this practice is the weaknesses of the executive branch and judicial system. This aligned itself with Albert Einstein’s observation as he stated, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”

Mr. President, you have been thinking progressively to rescue our country, and we citizens are supportive of a lasting peace and happiness in our families. This trust can only be built through our constitution, which is trustworthy when it is presented with consistency and has the correct principles.

A few individuals are concentrated on assumptions, which is less resourceful to back up a case in the court of law. We, the family of John Agou, would like to rectify the case where the constitution stands next to the power of the President.

Mr. President, we are seeking justice over injustice, we hope you treat Agou as your son and grant him the same pardon you gave to 14 others.

Thank you for your attention to this matter

This article was written by Deng Kur Deng AKA Raanmangar. You can reach him at pananyangajak@gmail.com

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