USAID contractor AECOM taken to court after employee burned down rented house in Juba

USAID contractor AECOM taken to court after employee burned down rented house in Juba

USAID’s contractor AECOM/VISTAS has been sued in a court after its Deputy Chief of Party and Regional Program Manager, Christopher Wulliman was reported for defaulting compensation of property after a fire which escalated from his rented room raged down the Ghines Villas.

AECOM had rented a villa for Mr. Wulliman at Ghines Villas located at Notos Restaurent in Juba town for 5000 USD per month. After fight broke out in Juba in 2016, Mr. Wulliman left South Sudan and sought shelter in Kenya leaving the house under the custody of his in-law who is a South Sudanese national.

While he was away, his in-law brought in an acquaintance who had allegedly forgotten to turn off the iron box after use which caused a fire and burnt down the house resulting into massive destruction of property. The company owning the villa tried to seek compensation from AECOM/VISTAS and Mr. Wulliman but they was reluctant to do so.

AECOM/VISTAS and Mr. Wulliman were summoned to appear before court to answer the charges pressed by the owner Ghines Villas. He however didn’t show up, prompting the court to issue a warrant of arrest.

“After 17 months of requests falling on deaf ears, the owner of Ghines Villas filed a court case against Mr. Wulliman seeking compensation for the damages done by the fire that took down the whole villa,” a source told Hot in Juba.

On Monday, the police came to arrest Mr. Wulliman at his AECOM offices but he was nowhere to be found. In a surprising twist of events, a fellow employee offered to be arrested on his behalf instead. He is to be arraigned in court next week according to a source close to Ghines Villas told Hot in Juba.

Hot in Juba got into contact with Mr. Wulliman who pinpointed that the owner of the villas, Mr. Notos George, was trying to get people arrested by creating irregularities in the police and judicial system. He claimed that his fellow employee who had been arrested was released following a court order. His boss said the criminal case had been dismissed, adding that it was an ongoing civil matter which the insurance company was handling and thus he was not at liberty to comment any further.

However, neither USAID nor AECOM have said a word on the drama unfolding from Mr. Wulliman or even shed light regarding the employee arrested on behalf of Christopher Wulliman.

AECOM/ Viable Support to Transition & Stability (VISTAS), the then AECOM Technology Corporation, is an American multinational engineering NGO implementing USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) projects in South Sudan.

 

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