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Court to hear Obey’s case over properties seizure

By Edward Anyoli

Added 15th June 2017 09:43 AM

The case is fixed for hearing after the convicts filed an application blocking the sale of their properties.

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PIC: Christopher Obey, Kiwanuka Kunsa and Jimmy Lwamafa being escorted by a prison officer at Anti Corruption Court. (File photo)

COURT

KAMPALA - The High Court will on July 7 hear the case in which three convicted former officials of the Ministry of Public Service have blocked the sale of their properties over a sh50b refund.

The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in March moved to High Court execution division in Kampala to have the properties of former permanent secretary Jimmy Lwamafa, principal accountant Christopher Obey and former director for research and development Stephen Kunsa Kiwanuka confiscated.

The three were found guilty of embezzling sh88b last year.

The case is fixed for hearing after the convicts filed an application blocking the sale of their properties. The case will be heard by the Registrar of the High Court execution division.

The three convicts are contesting the sale of their properties on the premise that their appeal which they filed in the Court of Appeal has high chances of success.

Court found that the convicts irregularly budgeted for the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), an item the Ministry of Public Service does not budget for and when the money was remitted, they diverted it for personal use.

Obey was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, Lwamafa to seven and Kunsa got 5 years. They were also ordered to refund sh50b in addition to the jail terms.

They were convicted of embezzlement, fraud, conspiracy, false accounting and diversion which took place in two financial years: 2010/201 and 2011/2012.

But they have since appealed against their conviction and sentence in the Court of Appeal.

The convicts are facing other separate charges over misappropriating sh15b meant for pension. The case is before Justice Margaret Tibulya at the Anti-Corruption Court and the hearing is still on.

The state wants properties (land) linked to Lwamafa situated in Kampala district and Kabale seized and sold off to recover the stolen money.

The state also is seeking to have over 65 properties, situated in different parts of the country linked to Obey, forfeited  in order to get compensation that was  ordered by the Anti-Corruption  Court in Kololo, Kampala last year.

The DPP also wants Kunsa’s commercial building in Luwafu parish, Makindye division seized in addition to other plots of land situated in Kampala.

In an  application  for execution  signed  by  the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Amos  Ngolobe, the  office of  the DPP argues that it is implementing the  Anti-Corruption Court directives that was issued by Justice Lawrence  Gidudu.

“I pray that the total amount of sh50b and the costs of taking out this execution be realised by attachment and sale of convicts’ immovable properties,” Ngolobe stated in the execution application filed at High Court.

 

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