Juba, August 7, 2013 (SSNA) — (Brought under Section 306 of the Code of Civil Procedure Act, 2007 and Article 20 of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011)
The Humble Petition of Mr. PAGAN AMUM OKECH whose address for purposes of this petition is c/o TURUK & CO. ADVOCATES, Juba, South Sudan and showeth:-
1. The Petitioner is an adult South Sudanese of sound mind living in Juba; and a Secretary General of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM-Party).
2. The 1st respondent is the chairperson of Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM-Party).
3. The 2nd respondent is a party believed to be registered under the Political Parties law in South Sudan or co-opted by the CPA 2005 which co-opted it into the 2005 Interim constitution and later saved by the Political Parties Act 2012.
4. The Petitioner brings this petition as an aggrieved party seeking relief for violation, infringement, contravention and threats to the fundamental rights of the petitioner as citizen and secretary General of SPLM and his right to his personal liberty and freedom of expression and freedom of movement. These violation, infringement and contravention are caused by the actions of the 1st and 2ndRespondents and thus this Honourable Court has jurisdiction over all the claims for relief sought herein under Article 9 (1), (2), (4) and Article 126 (2) (k) of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011.
5. The first and the 2ndrespondents are jointly sued for their violation, infringement and contravention of the petitioner’s rights of personal liberty, freedom of expression and freedom of movement under articles 12, 24 and 27 respectively, of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011.
6. The second respondent failed to advise the first respondent to comply with the SPLM constitution which does not provide for restriction of rights and freedoms and to observe those rights as enshrined in the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011.
The Constitutional Foundations of the Petition.
1. The Preamble to the Constitution of South Sudan recognizes the aspirations of all South Sudanese for a government based on essential values of human rights, equality and dignity, freedom, democracy, social justice and respect for the rule of law and the exercise by the people of South Sudan of our sovereign and inalienable right to determine the form of governance of our country and having participated fully in the making of this Constitution.
2. Article 2 of the Constitution provides that all sovereign power or sovereignty is vested in the people of South Sudan and shall be exercised only in accordance with this Constitution.
3. Article 3 (1) of the Constitution provides that the Constitution derives its authority from the will of the people and shall be the supreme law of the land. It shall have a binding force on “all persons, institutions, organs and agencies of government throughout the Country”.
4. Article 9 (3) of the Constitution provides that any treaty or convention ratified by South Sudan shall form part of the laws of South Sudan under this Constitution.
5. Article 9 (2) of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan obligates every person, individuals or groups to respect, uphold and promote all rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution by all organs and agencies of government and by all persons.
6. Article 10 read together with article 126 (2) (k) and 146 (2) (a) and (b)no derogation from rights and freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights. The Bill of rights shall be upheld, protected and applied by the Supreme Court and other competent courts; the Human Rights Commission shall monitor its application in accordance with this constitution and the law.
7. Article 126 (2) (k) vests authority in this Honourable Court to uphold and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms.
8. Article 14 of the Constitution provides that all persons are equal before the law and are entitled to the equal protection of the law without discrimination as to race, ethnic origin, colour, sex, language, religious creed, political opinion, birth, locality or social status.
9. Article 126 (2) (k) of the Constitution establishes the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as to determine the question whether a right or fundamental freedom in the Bill of Rights has been denied, violated, infringed or threatened.
10. On July 23rd the Chairperson of the SPLM made an order number 01/2013 for suspension and formation of the committee to investigate the SPLM Secretary General (the petitioner).
11. On July 25th2013, the Chairperson of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) the ruling party in the country issued an order No. 2/2013 for the standing order to be observed by the SPLM Secretary General while under investigation.
12. The under section of the order issued by the SPLM Chairperson prohibited the petitioner not to:
(1) Make any press conference or address any media whatsoever;
(2) Travel outside Juba until the investigation is completed and the report is submitted accordingly;
(3) Observe the general provisions of the SPLM interim basic rules and regulations, 2006.
13. On July 27th2013 the Chairperson of the SPLM issued another order number 03/2013 for inclusion of more members to the investigation committee to investigate the petitioner (SPLM secretary General).
14. The acts and/or omissions of the Respondents to prohibit the petitioner from making any press conference or media, travel outside Juba violates the fundamental right of the petitioner captured in Article 9 (2) and (3), 12, 24, and 27 of the Constitution of South Sudan 2011.
15. The acts and/or omissions of the Respondents are repugnant to the provisions of the Transitional Constitutional of South Sudan, 2011.
The petition falls within the jurisdiction as provided under Section 306 (a) of the Civil Procedure Act, 2007 which states that “the application for constitutional remedies shall lie with the Supreme Court stating the right alleged to have been infringed and of the facts alleged to constitute the infringement and under Article 20 of the Transitional constitution of South Sudan, 2011 which provides that “ the right to litigation shall be guaranteed for all persons; no person shall be denied the right to resort to courts of law to redress grievances whether against government or any individual or organization”.
Your Petitioner therefore humbly seeks the following prayers:-
(a) A declaration that the 1stRespondents’act is unconstitutional.
(b) A declaration that the Respondents’ act or order by prohibiting the Petitioner for enjoying his fundamental right to freedom of expression is a violation of Article 24 (1) of the Constitution of South Sudan.
(c) A declaration that the Respondents’ standing order 2 (2) prohibiting the Petitioner from travelling outside Juba violates the petitioner’s right to freedom and personal liberty guaranteed under Articles 12 and 27 the Constitution.
(d) A directive to the 2nd Respondent to form a committee in accordance with the SPLM constitution 2008.
(e) A declaration that the SPLM’s Constitution has no force of law and contravention of those provisions of the SPLM constitution and regulations does not create any offence except when the alleged act contravenes provisions of any law in force within the Republic of South Sudan.
(f) Costs of this Petition
(g) Damages 300,000 SSP
(h) Advocates fee 300,000 SSP
(i) Any further Relief or Orders that this Honourable Court shall deem just and fit to grant.
DATED at Juba this……….day of………………………………….2013
ADVOCATES FOR THE PETITIONER