Lawyers criticize ban on plot sale documents

By Kabaka Quintous

The Association of Advocates in Eastern Equatoria State urges  government to revoke the order banning their firms from issuing sales of plots agreement to citizens.

The reactions came after the ministry of physical infrastructure in Eastern Equatoria State notified the chief registrar of lands in state “that all contracts agreements for sale of plots and change of ownership therein not verified nor signed by legal competent advocate and commissioner of oath shall not be accepted by the department of lands and town planning in the ministry.”

Addressing the press yesterday, Counsel Juma Hoe Adriano the advocate working for Centenary associated advocate said the order has crippled their business.

“As a matter well-known to the public, we advocates we are doing business and we benefit a lot from drafting this contracts apart from that we are also helping our clients on the issues that may arise in the future by authenticating for them the contracts so as to be legal,” he said.

According to Juma, written agreement by the advocate was always valid.

Simon Fredrick Pasquale, the Advocate and Legal Advisor in Torit town said the order confused clients and likely to obstruct business.

The acting Secretary General for Eastern Equatoria Advocates Association, Counsel Beda Kasmiro Anthony said the livelihood of advocates depends on their work including drafting of contracts. 

He said many firms have lost clients in the recent days as business has slowed down.

“Our livelihood depend on how much we work and this drafting of contracts is actually one of them now who actually gives us our daily earnings it is through this small thing,” Beda said.

“Imagine I have an experience where a client withdrew the contract we cancelled the contract just because of this order. The clients heard this order that advocates have no right to draft agreement so we have to cancel the agreement,” he added.

In a letter dated 29th June 2020, seen by Juba Monitor addressed to the chief registrar of lands in Eastern Equatoria State, anybody who comes with land documents not endorsed by a competent commissioner of oath who is not recognized by the chief justice of South Sudan judiciary should not be accepted.

The advocates vowed to follow up the case with the head of legal administration in the state to withdraw the order.

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