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Lagu’s family celebrates acquittal of corruption charges

May 6, 2010 (WUNROK) — Family members, relatives and friends to former President of the high executive council of southern Sudan, Retired General Joseph Lagu, continue to celebrate acquittal of corruption charges against their beloved sister and daughter Josephine Lagu.

Josephine Joseph Lagu was late last year accused of involvement in the embezzlement of funds allegedly wired into her private bank account instead of official bank account for Students studying in Uganda under scholarship of the government of South Sudan through its ministry of education, science and technology.

Accused of financial fraud and dishonesty, she was relieved of her duties as undersecretary in the service ministry of education, science and technology in order to allow the court to conduct thorough investigations and judgment without immunities.

Throughout investigations period, Lagu claimed innocence against the charges and vowed to defend herself against accusing fingers. Notwithstanding her assertions, majority within the ministry blamed her for involvement in the transfer.

"There is no smoke without fire. There must have been a deal because I do not know why she was involved in the transfer leaving accountants of the ministry," said an official who declined to be named in December 2009.

"Proper investigation must be conducted to unearth the truth and judgment be made accordingly without compromise regardless of the status of the victims," the official adds.

However, on Friday, April 30th 2010, Josephine proved her innocence when High Court in Juba cleared all the charges for lack of proof.

Sebit Alfred Wilson, who said to have been a long time friend to Josephine family, in an interview with Sudan Tribune from Khartoum, said he knew Josephine was going to be declared innocent because, her conduct, since youth do not allow such behaviors.

"I knew she would be freed because she has never been accused of such practices even within the family while young. We grew up together in the same town and went to the same school but has never heard her accused of such practices even pens at schools," he explained.

Sebeit further said she had been falsely accused in order to damage her reputation as well as name of her father and whole family was dragged into it and so it became a political circus. There was no another reason but intention to tarnish image of such great and peaceful family, he said praising her courage during the investigation period.

Another official who preferred not to be named said the stratagem had been developed in order to remove Josephine from her position.

"Those who did it must be held accountable," he said adding "we all have to understand that South Sudan is our region; GOSS is our government and south is our home and that all of us belong to it".

(ST)