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Lira High Court Dismisses Injunction On Ibuje Rock

In September, Godfrey Ssalamu Ngobi, the Assistant Registrar of Lira High Court issued a temporary injunction restraining Ibuje sub-county and Matrix Lands Ltd from quarrying Ibuje rock following an application by Sophia Okune.
The court ruling
The High Court in Lira has set aside a temporary court injunction on Ibuje rock. 

In September, Godfrey Ssalamu Ngobi, the Assistant Registrar of Lira High Court issued a temporary injunction restraining Ibuje sub-county and Matrix Lands Ltd from quarrying Ibuje rock following an application by Sophia Okune.

Okune is the Administrator of the late Hon. Joseph William Okune and Awino Stone Quarry Cooperative Society.  The rock was being quarried for the construction of Rwenykunye- Apac- Lira to Kitgum road.

Eventually, the Lango District Chairpersons and Mayors’ Forum petitioned the Chief Justice over the Injunction on the rock. They argued that the injunction was the main cause of the delay of the road construction.

On Thursday, Justice Duncan Gaswaga, the Lira High Court Resident threw out the temporary injunction and ordered both applicants to pay the costs of the application to the respondents. 

The judge also ordered that the register ensures the final execution of the judgement of Justice Simon Byabakama within 4 weeks adding that arrangements should be made for the court to visit the locus and witness the final execution of the judgement.

In the ruling in 2019, Justice Byabakama awarded 10 out of the 80 hectares of land on which the rock sits to Sophia Okune and 70 hectares to the sub-county arguing that the interests of the late Okune had moved to his wife as the administrator of his estate.

The issue of the contentious rock dates back to 1991 when the late Joseph William Okune applied for and received a lease to use the rock for 5 years. However, after an extension, the sub-county took ownership of the rock and gave it to Matrix Lands Limited to quarry for the road works.

In 2012, Okune’s family sued the sub-county, Matrix ltd, Geoffrey Oyuru, and Janet Odongo claiming that the interests of the late Okune had moved to his wife as the administrator of his estate.  A ruling passed in 2019 awarded 10 out of the 80 hectares of land on which the rock sits to Sophia Okune and 70 hectares to the sub-county.

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