JUBA – The Sudan Pentecostal Church has accused Governor Emmanuel Adil Anthony of Central Equatoria state of illegally confiscating its 3,973 square meters of land located in Hai-Malakia suburb of Juba saying the governor’s actions are “illegal, heavy-landed, unconstitutional, misguided, ungodly, and disobedient to the law of God and that of the land.”
A brawling land wrangle occurred when governor Adil issued a decree on Tuesday ordering the expropriation of church land for public use leaving church frustrated.
The church said it acquired the ownership of the land in 1993 from the state government.
The church has been battling in court since 2009 with Central Equatoria State’s Ministry of Housing and Physical Infrastructure.
In 2016, High Court judge, Nicola Makuach ruled in favor of the church owning the land and in 2018 the Court of Appeal also ruled in favor of the church.
Speaking during a press conference in Juba on Friday, Bishop Isaiah Majok Dau, General Overseer of Sudan Pentecostal Church disclosed that the church has rejected the governor’s decree terming it as illegal.
“The Sudan Pentecostal Church rejects in total the gubernatorial order for the appropriation of its lands by governor Adil. This is illegal, heavy-landed, unconstitutional, misguided, ungodly, and disobedient to the law of God and that of the land,” Major said.
Majok said the church is a public entity that has the right to own the land.
“The church is a public entity and has all the rights and privileges to that of our land. It is unfortunate for the governor chose to seek advice and counsel from the very people who are in dispute with church over the land,” Majok stated.
The bishop said using gubernatorial order to reverse the court ruling is unconstitutional.
“Using gubernatorial order to reverse the court ruling is considered by the church as an act of undermining and interference with people’s rights and freedoms,” he said.
He vowed that the church will use all available and legal means to get their land back.