SERERE – Moses Omiat, a resident of Kamod Parish in Kasilo Sub- County, Serere district has through his lawyers K&A advocates and solicitors written to Serere district LC5 chairman, Stephen Ochola and the deputy Residence District Commissioner (RDC) Ivan James Namoma informing them of his intention to sue them over defamation.
The two officials are accused of uttering defaming statements against Omiat.
Omiat says in a widely circulated broadcast, the LC5 chairman made “baseless” and “unsubstantiated” allegations that the Soroti High Court judge was unfair and biased in arriving at his judgment in suit in which the court ruled that 150 acres of customary land at Kasilo village, Kamod parish, Bugondo sub-county in Serere district belonged to him (Omiat).
“We act for and on behalf of our client Mr. Moses Omiat, from whom we have received instructions to debunk the reckless, defamatory and malicious statements that were peddled through the broadcast media to the Public by the LCV Chairperson Serere District, Mr. Stephen Ochola and the Deputy Resident District Commissioner Serere District, Mr. Ivan Namoma, regarding the Judgment of the High Court at Soroti in Civil Suit No.10 of 2016: Omiat Moses versus Serere District Local Government and 4 Others and the eviction of trespassers from our client’s land in execution of the said Judgment. These reckless statements were made at a Baraza on accountability organized by the Office of the Prime Minister at Bugondo Sub County Headquarters on 29th March, 2023,” the letter reads in part.
“In the same statement, the LC5 chairman also insinuated that the High Court’s judgment was obtained through our client’s manipulation of the court process for purposes of perverting the true ownership of the said land,” the letter of intention to sue reads in part.
“It is quite unfortunate that politicians and senior civil servants who would be expected to be at the helm of promoting respect for Judicial decisions and the rule of law have taken to undermining decisions of the Courts, to making statements that mock and belittle decisions of the Courts and to inciting the public to disrespect and disregard Court orders,” the letter dated April 20, 2023 added.
According to Omiat, the district LC5 chairman’s statements were a veiled communication that he will never have access to his land despite a court ruling on the same.
“On his part, the deputy RDC Serere District vowed not to evict the majority of the thousands from our client’s land because of one person. Again, this is false as the trespassers on our client’s land don’t number to the thousands,” he adds.
Omiat says these “reckless” statements by the deputy RDC and LC5 chairman have emboldened trespassers on his land to violate an eviction order issued by the High Court in Soroti.
He adds that he protests the statements by the deputy RDC and the district LC5 chairman and condemns them.
“By this statement, the Serere LC5 chairman is notified that our client has instructed us to commence legal action for defamation against him for the reckless and patently defamatory statements made against him,” Omiat’s lawyers of Kania and Advocates and Solicitors.
Also Read: https://tesonewsnetwork.com/2023/04/11/serere-rdc-lcv-accused-of-blocking-a-man-from-accessing-his-land/
When contacted for a comment, the deputy RDC, Ivan James Namoma said, “I am tired of your call over nothing,” before he hung up.
On the other hand, the Serere district LC5 chairman didn’t pick our repeated calls to him.
The matter stems from last year’s judgment by the Soroti High Court in which it was ruled that the Serere district local government and four others had encroached on Omiat’s land.
Omiat, the administrator of the estate of the late George Amollo had sued them for trespass on their ancestral land and relocated a cattle market onto the land that he inherited from his late father.
Court ruled in Omiat’s favor and asked them to pay Shs 200 million in fine and shs 70 million in compensation for the destroyed trees and shs50 million for exemplary damages.
They were also asked by the court to pay Shs70m as compensation for the destroyed trees and Shs50m as exemplary damages.
Additional Reporting; Nile Post