Family of Late Justice Arach Fight Over Burial Site

The family of the late Supreme Court Justice Stella Arach Amoko has petitioned the judiciary regarding the decision to bury her remains in Adjumani district.

Justice Amoko, who served in the Judiciary for 26 years, passed away at Nakasero Hospital over the weekend aged 69.

The controversy surrounding the burial site arose after the family of her husband Ambassador Idule Amoko submitted a letter to the judiciary requesting that she be buried in Adjumani district. As a result, two parallel burial programs were issued, with one indicating Nebbi as the burial site and the other indicating Adjumani.

In their June 19, 2023, petition addressed to the judiciary Permanent Secretary, Dr. Pius Bigirimana, the family members, including the biological sister, brother, and daughters of the deceased, express their desire for Justice Amoko to be buried in Nebbi, specifically at Jukiya Hill Ward, Juba cell, where her father was laid to rest.

“This is the humble petition of the biological family of the deceased Hon. Lady Justice Stella Arach Amoko against the alleged decision to burry our deceased sister and mother in Adjumani, praying for your good office to overturn the alleged decision and to have our said mother and sister buried at her home in Nebbi where her father was buried as she wished,” reads part of the petition.

The family argues that the deceased had verbally expressed her wish to be buried in Nebbi near her father’s grave prior to her passing. They state that while still at Nakasero Hospital, she invited her brother, from Nebbi and shared her desire to be buried there. “…to this effect, the deceased while still at Nakasero hospital, invited her biological brother one Picho Godfrey to come from Nebbi and expressed her wish to be buried in Nebbi,” the family contends in the petition.

Additionally, the family asserts that the children have no connection to Adjumani, their paternal ancestral home, and have never been introduced to the place or shown any land or property there.

On another note, Kaal Ker Kwaro Jonam Kapita, the cultural institution of the Jonam, released a June 19, 2023, statement to the judiciary stating that Justice Arach should be laid to rest at the royal burial grounds at Kaal Ragem in Pakwach district.

They urged the judiciary to respect Amoko’s wish to be buried next to her father in Nebbi. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the decision to bury Justice Arach was made during a meeting at the president’s office, from which the children and relatives claim they were excluded.

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