Five districts share chief magistrate

Thursday September 13 2018

The legal aid week is organised by Facilitation

The legal aid week is organised by Facilitation for Peace and Development (FAPAD), a local non-governmental organisation operating in Lango. FILE PHOTO 

By BILL OKETCH & BARBARA AKITE

Lira. An official from the High Court in Lira District has said residents of Lango cannot have access to efficient and effective justice because the judiciary is riddled with stressing challenges.
Ms Rosemary Bareebe Ngabirano, the deputy registrar, said the judiciary is faced with inadequate staff challenge coupled with procedural difficulties.
“So if you expect justice in Oyam, the chief magistrate is in Apac and she is supposed to be in Alebtong too. Here in Lira, you expect her to but she is only one person and has a heavy workload before her. People end up getting frustrated and access to justice ends up being a myth,” she said.

“To address the challenge of manpower, the judiciary encourages alternative dispute resolutions. I call upon everyone to embrace it as a way of overcoming procedural difficulties that disable our justice system,” she added.
Ms Ngabirano made the remarks at the opening of a legal aid week at Lira Mayor’s Garden on Monday.
The objective of the exercise is to offer the public legal advice on issues that affect them.

The legal aid week is organised by Facilitation for Peace and Development (FAPAD), a local non-governmental organisation operating in Lango.
The Lira Resident District Commissioner, Mr Robert Abak, said the public ended up accusing the judiciary of corruption because they did not know how to get things done rightly.
“We are struggling with the sickness of the law …that’s why back home the land is being grabbed from widows and orphans. This is a very important opportunity for you to access support,” Mr Abak said.

Corruption claims denied
“I know many of you go to police and sometimes you don’t understand what goes on inside and when you are in court, you understand nothing about the processes and then you come back and create a story that you know the judge was bribed. But I want to tell you that I oversee the work of these legal friends, there are no legal officers in Lira who are corrupt right from the judge, registrar, the magistrate and the team,” he added.
The Lira District Grade One Magistrate, Mr Simon Peter Odoo, indicated that the judiciary has elevated Lango Sub- region and gratified it with five chief magisterial areas.

They include Lira, Alebtong, Dokolo, Apac and Oyam. However, due to manpower challenge, there is still only one chief magistrate running all the five chief magisterial areas.
“As of now, registries have been opened in all those five places named and if you are from any of them, please go and register your cases there,” Mr Odoo said.
He added: “It’s no longer business as usual for you to come to Lira. It is the chief magistrate who is overseeing all those places and she is doing everything possible to visit all those five chief magisterial areas at least once in a week.”

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