The High Court in Gulu has appointed a new mediator in the contest over the ownership of more than 8,000 acres of land hosting Attiak Sugar Factory in Amuru District.
Patrick Abore of Abore Advocates and Legal Consultants who is a Senior Counsel at Gulu High Court was on Tuesday appointed by the Deputy Registrar of the Gulu High Court, Hussein Nasulu Ntalo.
He replaces Senior Counsel Sylvia Oyet who was last month appointed by the Gulu High Court to mediate the matter and report back to court after the feuding members asked for an out-of-court settlement of the case.
However, Oyet neither arranged for mediation with the feuding family members nor did he report to the court on the expected date citing personal problems.
On Tuesday, the feuding family members reported back to Gulu High Court but the defendants who are being represented by Calvin Kilama of Nimungu Associate Advocate Gulu requested the court for a new mediator so that the matter can be settled out of court.
Both parties agreed to the request prompting Ntalo to appoint Patrick Abore who was present in court at that time.
Abore says he will take up the matter and present a report before the court on October 29 of October. He noted that it is a requirement by law that conflicting parties can be allocated 60 days of an out-of-court mediation before the court picks it up upon failure.
The lead complainant Peter Okee Ogik told URN shortly after the court session that they will give the respondents the benefit of doubt before taking the battle to court. He however decried intimidation from the defendants.
The court case arises from a bitter fight among the children of the John Omaya over the rights and usage of the more than 8,000 hectares of land hosting Attiak Sugar Factory in Amuru district.
A section of the family members led by Peter Okee Ogik and Emmanuel Ogik accuse their sibling led by Okot Akena Ogik of irregularly leasing out the family land to Horyal Investments Holding Company Limited without their consent.
Okee also accuses his elder stepbrother Akena, who was given administrative rights over the land following the demise of their father John Omaya of changing ownership of the land in Pacilo Village, Attiak Sub County Amuru district from customary to freehold before leasing it out to Horyal Investments Holding Company Limited in 2014 for 49 years.
Last month, Okee and Ogik through their lawyers of Asimwe Advocates and Solicitors dragged Ogik to court demanding their rights over the land and benefits from its returns.
They contend that their interests were not catered for since the land was leased without their consent and the benefits accruing from the land have been declared to the other family members.
They also want the court to halt the operations of Horyal Investments Company Limited which owns Attiak Sugar Factory.
The contested land is found in Gem Village, Pacilo Parish, Attiak Sub County in Amuru district.