Gok MPs arrested over alleged absenteeism

An MP in Gok State says five of his colleagues and a minister have been arrested for allegedly failing to attend a sitting on Friday.

Hon. John Marik Makur says the MPs were in town when they were caught by the security.

They are Santino Manyiel Mading, the assembly chief whip and Ayen Maan Ador, the Minister of Physical infrastructure.

The others include; Simon Mayar Marial, Malek Machot Padai, and Ater Machar.

Hon. Makur, who also represents Gok state at the National Dialogue process, says the lawmakers were not aware there was a caucus session on Friday.

“Those members who have been arrested were in the town. Some of them went for private businesses; some to the hospital but did not know there was a sitting,” he told Eye Radio.

He says the state legislature was instead divided over a move to remove seven MPs from the house.

“They were not happy and they talked directly to the governor that ‘these people are not with us’ and they were later caught on their way home. That is what I Understand,” he added.

“Illegal meeting”

Gok State Legislative Assembly Speaker Umjima Phili has confirmed the arrests.

However, she says the MPs were detained for illegally conducting a meeting outside the parliament.

There have been reported insecurity incidents in the state. Last month month, a dozen people were killed in communal clashes in the state, particularly Cueibet and Ngap Agok, Abiriu areas.

These led to brief closure of several secondary and primary schools. Gok was curved out from the now defunct Lakes State.