By Juliet Kigongo
The Minister for Disaster Preparedness & Refugees, Hillary Onek has dragged three legislators to court seeking Shs400million as damages for allegedly defaming him.
The three legislators from Aruu County, Kilak South County and Chwa West County are Odonga Otto, Gilbert Olanya and Okin Ojara respectively.
In his lawsuit filed before the High Court civil division, the minister claims that on June 17, 2020, the legislators together with a one Ms Stella Kijange appeared on 91.5 Mighty Fire FM on the Mighty Gang Talk Show and uttered false statements against him that were detrimental and injurious.
The minister further states that Otto accused him of not being a Ugandan and masquerading as an Acholi whereas his true family roots are in South Sudan, adding that he (Otto) allegedly knew his (Onek) brother who serves as a permanent secretary in Juba and sister who serves as an MP in Sudan.
The minister states that the allegation that he is not a Ugandan serves to alienate him from his people in Lamwo and also buttress other allegations that he is an oppressive land grabber.
The minister accuses Olanya and Ojara who were also co-guests at the radio talk show of seconding all the false utterances and statements thus going ahead to author a defamatory report against him making more allegations that tainted his reputation.
He also states that the legislators went ahead to spread the defamatory allegations against him through social media across various platforms among his colleagues which has severely dented his reputation.
Through his lawyers of Lex Uganda Advocates, the minister is seeking a declaration that the legislators’ actions were defamatory and a joint public apology retracting their statement.