Editor's Review

The Court of Appeal has frozen accounts belonging to South Sudan pending the determination of a dispute with a construction firm linked to former Cabinet Minister Cyrus Jirongo.

South Sudan has suffered a set back after the Court of Appeal yesterday ruled to freeze the country's NCBA and Stanbic accounts.

This is due to a dispute with a firm associated with former Cabinet Minister Cyrus Jirongo, which is demanding Ksh5.4 billion from Juba.

The Court of Appeal resorted to freeze the accounts after Yu Sung Construction Company appealed successfully appealed a prior determination by the High Court which had allowed Juba to operate the two accounts on condition the contested Ksh5.4 billion be reserved in the accounts.

File image of President Salva Kiir of South Sudan. |Photo| Courtesy|

Yu Sung's lawyer Ken Kiplagat petitioned before the three-judge bench that the High Court had issued conflicting orders, risking nullity of the case.

"The honourable judges of the High Court have issued conflicting orders which conduct by judges of concurrent jurisdiction points to a collapse of due process and administrative order in the judiciary to the grave detriment of the applicant herein who stands to suffer a miscarriage of justice," Kiplagat petitioned.

He further argued that South Sudan's Attorney General had failed to provide any security for the satisfaction of the consent issued against the country at the East African Court of Justice which favoured Yu Sung.

Justices Daniel Musinga, Patrick Kiage and Gatembu Kairu resolved to bar South Sudan from withdrawing any money from the accounts pending determination of the case.

The first orders to freeze the accounts were issued in December 2020 and had been upheld by a number of judges up until Justice Said Chitembwe unfroze them following an application by Juba. South Sudan had argued that the situation was hampering operations in their country.

On February 26, Juba told the court that the freeze had strained several operations in the country including remittance of salaries.

File image of former Cabinet Minister Cyrus Jirongo. |Photo| Courtesy|