May 31, 2013 (JUBA) – South Sudan Police on Friday arrested the Managing Director of Payii roads and bridges company over misappropriation of funds allocated for construction of the 140km Juba-Kajokeji road.
Rex Abdalla Nicholas was reportedly arrested at about 3:00pm on orders from South Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission (SSACC), whose summons he allegedly ignored, despite several reminders.
“SSACC summoned the MD [Managing Director] of Payii to come and answer some questions about the said road construction and he refused to report to SSACC despite a reminder sent to him,” a source told Sudan Tribune.
SSACC then invoked section 29 of its 2009 Act, and sought the intervention of the Ministry of Justice and secured arrest warrant, he added.
Abdalla is now under detention as he awaits trial on why he failed to obey lawful orders from the anti-graft body.
Under Section 9(1) (b) of the Act, SSACC has powers to investigate cases of corruption involving public property as well as the private sector, which is later forwarded to the Justice ministry for further action.
In September last year, Mary Kiden, a member of parliament from Kajokeji decried the poor state of roads in the area, after heavy rains washed away a section of main bridge linking it to the South Sudan capital.
Area residents blame Payii roads and bridges company, the main contractor, of doing “shoddy” work and failing to complete the road contract, five years after it was awarded.
A committee, comprising members from Kajo-Keji drivers’ union and civil society entities, was last year formed to look into the road matter. The committee was, among others, tasked to mobilise funds for construction of the 140km stretch.