February 5, 2018 (JUBA) – The father John Agou Wuoi, a businessman in jail for alleged involvement in corruption at the presidency has urged President Salva Kiir to pardon his son.
- South Sudanese business man John Agou Wuoi (File photo)
John Wuoi Cuit, in a 28 January, 2018 letter extended to Sudan Tribune, appealed to the South Sudanese leader to forgive his son like he did to the other individuals who were jailed together with Agou.
Agou is one of the 16 individuals who were accused of alleged corruption case in the Office of the President in 2015. He was arrested on 29 May, 2015 together with four Kenyans who were employees of his company, Click Technologies Limited.
He was among 16 people sentenced to life imprisonment for their role in the loss of $14 million and 30 million South Sudanese pounds.
Nine individuals, including the four Kenyans who were imprisoned for corruption charges in the office of the president, were released. The release of the Kenyans brings to 15 all the individuals released after six of them were acquitted by the Supreme Court in September.
The decision to pardon all the Kenyan citizens and the South Sudanese national who were jailed for alleged involvement in the corruption saga followed bilateral talks between President Kiir and his counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi on 28 November last year.
While appreciating President Kiir for pardoning the rest of the individuals who had been jailed with his son, Wuoi said his family was shocked by the decision to single out his son and leave him behind in prison because of chronic illnesses that Agou suffers from.
“To be honest Your Excellency, the decision to pardon the rest of the people is a noble one as mentioned earlier but to single out my son John Agou Wuoi as the only individual who cannot benefit from the Presidential Pardon has shocked of all us as a family beyond description, but not only that, we completely fear for the life of my son given the chronic sicknesses he is suffering from”, wrote Wuoi.
He urged the South Sudanese leader to forgive and pardon his son on humanitarian grounds.
“My son John Agou Wuoi suffers from chronic diseases that need specialized treatment and management. He has a young family; a young wife and a son who need his presence in their midst”, he said.
Agou, his father stressed in the letter, is a law-abiding citizen who is committed to fulfilling the orders of the court to refund some money to the Government of South Sudan through civil proceedings as imposed on him by the court, if he gets pardoned by the president.
“Your Excellency, some people may have expressed unknown fears that if my son John Agou is pardoned and released just like some of his colleagues, he will flee the country and therefore fail to fulfil the orders of the court to refund the money imposed on him through civil proceedings,” the letter, addressed to the president, further stated.
It added, “John Agou has assured me as his father in presence of other prominent community leaders that he has never contemplated going anywhere until he is granted his freedom through lawful and legal means which is the Presidential Pardon that you extended to some of his colleagues who were jailed with him”.
The distraught father dismissed rumours that his son hid a lot of money outside the country and therefore singling him out of the presidential pardon will force him to surrender the alleged money to them.
“In all honesty Your Excellency, I have discussed this issue of money alleged to have been hidden by my son at length with him in presence of other prominent community leaders. His answer has always been that he has not hidden any money anywhere and if the government or anyone has proof of where this money is alleged to have been hidden by him, then let them tell us as a family of John Agou Wuoi and he will sign off this money to be given back to the government or anyone interested in taking this money”, he pleaded.
Wuoi, however, said he was ready to “sell everything they have as a family” in order to refund the money imposed on his son by the court stressing that that “the freedom of his son that will allow him to be with us and raise his young family matters most to me as his father and all of us as his family more than anything else in this world”.
The four Kenyans and six South Sudanese, including Agou were due to be pardoned on 5 December 2017. However, on 6 December, President Kiir issued a Republican Order No. 33 pardoning the four Kenyan citizens and four South Sudanese in whole while one of the accused, Yel Luol Koor, was pardoned in part meaning he is still liable to refund the money imposed on him by the court