By Taibot Marko
Adjumani. The Resident District Commissioner, Ms Agnes Akello and the District Police Commander have sued journalists over depletion of Zoka Forest.
The RDC, DPC, Mr Peter Ojokuna and the former NFA Supervisor, Mr Joseph Otim accuses the journalists of carrying a defamatory publication in which she is accused of depletion of Zoka forest.
The stories were published on Redpepper and Voice of the Nile radio station in Moyo district. .
Through their Gulu based law firm M/S Odongo & Co Advocates the plaintiffs claim that in June 2016, a freelance journalist, Mr Amacha Goli circulated a highly defamatory story to Mr Amvesi Andrew a reporter of The Red Pepper Publications in which story was Published in the Red Pepper of Monday the 6th June, 2016 entitled “Report Implicates RDC, DPC in Illegal Timber Deal”.
The RDC Agnes Akello and co-plaintiffs further says that Voice of the Nile Radio Station conducted a talk show about the defamatory articles and further broadcasted the same news articles on the station without inviting the plaintiffs to clarify on the issues.
The RDC Akello and her allies are seeking for compensation in general damages and apology from all the defendants among other orders.
Amacha Goli says he has received a copy of the court summons from Arua High court today but said RDC Akello and the party should know that they are all subjects of criminal investigations for the alleged plunder of Zoka forest.
Amacha said the action of the officials was intended to silence the media to stop publishing the plunder in Zoka forest.
The Red Pepper reporter Amvesi Andrew said the stories were factual. He said they would not relent but take on the plaintiffs and prove them wrong in the courts of law. The defendants are required to file a defense in the said suit within 15 days from the date of service of summons.