The Secretary of the Sudan people Liberation Movement Mr. Pagan Amum has accused the former Minister of Finance in the Government of Southern Sudan 2005-7 Mr. Arthur Akuien of embezzling sixty million Dollars. The accusation result to the arrest of Arthur, but later detention, Arthur was set free due lack of enough evidence, Arthur said. An appeal was made against Arthur. Arthur said that he is ready to stand in the court again.
Arthur Akuien also revealed that Pagan Amum must account for the sum of $30,000,000 that was paid directly to his accounts by the Sudan Ministry of Finance in 2006. Arthur said that 50 percent of the total money was deposit to the account of Amum.
“In 2006, I was accused on matters regarding a grant of $60,000,000 given to GOSS/SPLM by the president of Sudan and this accusation were made by Pagan Amum and Luka Biong the treasure of the SPLM, the stated that I had stolen the above figures but clearly this amount was paid to the accounts of the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) in the Bank of Sudan with Issac Makur and Silvano Jal Malith as signatories to the account” Arthur continued.
He said that the accusation was put against him to enable to allow a certain few unscrupulous and corrupt individual within the governing system easy access to public money without the fear of question by him. He said that the accusations were put on him through manipulation of opinion, both from the Government and public and used it as a way for him to be removed the position of Ministry Finance and economic planning.
He said that his involvement was in reference to the approval he made which was under instruction from above which led to the expenditures $30,000,000 of which he hold copies of the original receipt and can fully account for them.
He said that the other 30, 000,000 out of the sixty million were placed in the hands of the SPLM Secretary General as it was paid by the Sudan Ministry of finance directly into his account as once again he “Arthur” had been instructed from above. He said that the transfer was done on 22 December 2006 and he believe that Pagan is the one who should account and he “Pagan” can clearly tell the public how he spent those funds.
He said that he was removed from office due to false allegations of corruption that were made against him. He said that it was for the first time he made clear address on the matter of funds management during his period as the Minister of finance in 2005-6. He said that he has never publicly stood up and countered the allegations because reasons of patriotism.
He said that he was keeping the secret because he does not want to spoil the process that was leading the south Sudanese as the people of southern Sudan to the independence and the subsequent declaration of the republic of South Sudan as a united nations.
“I was accused recently in the newspaper and some parliamentarians of not going to the parliament to answer questions about irregularity in 2006 report produced by then Audit General” Arthur asserted.
He said that the reasons were because he was told that his presence was not required, as he had already written and submitted a report to the public accounts committee in the parliament. He noted there have been constant attempts being made by some few individuals within the current governing body to discredit and defame him as significant figure amongst the founding members of this nation.
“All the accusations that range from my time in office and after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace agreement and the formation of the government of national unity are continuing up date” Arthur inserted. He said that it was unfortunate that he has now been pushed to the point where it’s necessary for him to stand up and take this opportunity to list out some if only a few of the transgressions made by a few against the public interest of the people of south Sudan.
“Earlier time and circumstance had now allowed me to speak out and let the whole country know how public funds were and are being mishandled and misused. In 2006 I was accused of misusing and stealing public funds. This was propagated by some few individuals within the Government that led to a caucus sitting of the SPLM as an intervention” Arthur was quoted. “The Government of the period of 2005-6 had great influx of cash and I being the minister of finance and economic planning at that time has strict operative values that cloud not allow the public money to be rotating anyhow amongst corrupt individuals” he reiterated.
“Leading to my removal as the Minister of finance I was accused of purchasing vehicles from cardinal company at a price twice the actual amount, these were purchased following the written instructions from the Vice president of GOSS Dr. Riek Machar that I should purchase the vehicles from cardinal for various ministries in run” he said.
He said that after receiving the instruction from the Vice President, he directed the undersecretary of the Ministry of finance to proceed with the transaction after involving the procurement department in accordance with the proper procurement procedures that were to be followed in his absence due to his visit to Malaysia and Singapore on official business for the Government of southern Sudan.
“Despite of all my precautions and procedures that I put in place to be followed I was then held responsible for the purchases, my directive to the undersecretary clearly indicated procurement procedures had to be followed in accordance with the laid down procedures, as a result I was removed and my duties as minister of finance were abruptly terminated and immediately thereafter I was accused and arrested for corruption, I was investigated and tried, but the was no evidence of wrong doing and the case was dismissed by the province Judge Malek Mathiang in Juba on the 30th September 2009” he said.