By Edward Anyoli
THE former finance manager of African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) has been charged with embezzling over sh1.5b.
Patrick Odele was on Thursday charged with 103 different counts relating to the scam in which billion of shillings was lost in a fraudulent transaction.
The Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Sarah Langa Siu remanded Odele to Luzira prison, after charges of embezzlement, forgery and uttering false document were read to him. He denied the charges.
Prosecution led by state attorney David Bisamunyu said Odele between May 2009 and August 2011 at Bank of Baroda being employed by African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) as finance and administration never remitted Pay as You Earn amounting to over sh305m to Uganda Revenue Authority which he had access to by virtue of his employment
Odele is also alleged to have stolen sh36m which prosecution said he fraudulently withdrew from (ACHEST) account in Bank of Baroda and failed to remit as National Social Security Fund (NSSF) as required.
Prosecution said Odele with intent to defraud, forged several cheques claiming to have been signed by Prof. Francis Omaswa authorising the withdrawal.
Odele is also accused of uttering false cheques to Bank of Baroda purporting that it was authorised by Prof. Omaswa and withdrew the money.
Prosecution said Odele withdrew the cash amounting to sh1,527,940,933 on different dates and gave the impression that the money had been remitted to Uganda Revenue Authority and National Social Security Fund but investigations later revealed that the money withdrawn between May 2009 and August 2011 was not remitted.
The chief magistrate remanded Odele after prosecution said he was likely to abscond his trial because previously he dishonoured the police bond and went into hiding until recently when he was apprehended as he tried to escape to South Sudan.