A member of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly on the SPLM-IO ticket representing Lakes State has vowed to never apologize over charges of alleged corruption that he has levelled against the House Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba. Legislator Juol Nhomngek has said he will not withdraw the corruption allegations either.
Over the last few months, parliamentarians have disclosed that the Speaker has approved the release of USD 1.5 million for personal use without consent from the assembly. She is also alleged to have approved SSP 12 million, whose final use has become a concern. South Sudanese lawmakers in the East Africa Legislative Assembly have denied receiving these funds as earlier claimed. The Inter-Parliamentary Games has not made any financial reports public to show that it received SSP 12 million.
On 14 April, the Assembly Business Committee (ABC) discussed in a closed session corruption allegations and alleged defamation of Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba. The committee resolved that Juol Nhomngek immediately apologize to the Speaker and withdraw his corruption and abuse of office allegations within seven working days.
Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Wednesday, Juol Nhomngek said he would not apologize because what he has been saying was true. He slammed the committee for not being fair in handling the matter according to the rules and regulations of the House. He also declared a commitment to defend himself if a neutral body is formed by the house to resolve the matter amicably.
“According to the law, she cannot be the complainer, the judge, the one funding the same committee, selecting her own friends and then receiving the findings of the committee, which I have objected to. I told them that I need a neutral committee because, according to natural justice, there is biasness within the formation of the committee because the speaker is the one forming the committee and I want to maintain my innocent position until I get a correct committee. So my position is very simple, I cannot apologize because the corruption involvement documents are there,” said Nhomngek.
“Firstly, she (Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba) approved USD 1.5 by herself which was supposed to be approved by the Parliament; the money was later caught at the airport. Secondly, SSP 12 million was carried away from here (parliament premises) and this became a subject later they (the speaker and allies) wanted to sue me and after they realized they were not clear they said the money was meant for East African Members of Parliament who objected and it was claimed that the money was shifted to the Pan Africa Parliamentary Games and then we followed up and the Pan Africa members admitted that the money was theirs and we still say the money cannot be approved by the speaker. This was illegal and the money was about to be carried away. Thirdly, up to now, nobody knows how much money was given to Inter-Parliamentary Games, which were played in Juba,” he added.