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Onegi- Obel denies causing loss of sh8b to NSSFPublish Date: Jul 11, 2014
Onegi- Obel denies causing loss of sh8b to NSSF
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Former board chairman National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Onegi- Obel waiting for the hearing at the Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo on 10th July 2014. PHOTO/ Maria Wamala
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By Edward Anyoli     

THE former NSSF board chairman, Geoffrey Onegi- Obel   yesterday started   his defence and denied causing loss of sh8b loss  to government.

 Onegi- Obel defended the project of constructing 5000 housing estates units saying it was a viable and profitable to the low income earners.

Obel told  Anti- Corruption  Court presided  over by  Justice  Margaret   Tibulya  that if the project  had  not been  stopped  by Inspectorate of  Government Ugandans would   have   enormously  benefited   from  it.

“The management was satisfied that the monetary return was above the market price and social returns were much needed by Ugandans,” Onegi- Obel said.

Onegi-  Obel who was  being  led  by his lawyer said  if  he knew that  his action to  go into joint venture  with  Mugoya Construction  Company would  cause loss, the  project  would  have  been  stopped  forthwith.

Former board chairman, National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Onegi- Obel listens to one of his lawyers, Francis Gimara at the Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo on 10th July 2014. PHOTO/Maria Wamala 

Onegi-  Obel   told  court  that the project was  stopped  within   three  months  after  it  had  just started on  recommendation of  Inspectorate  of  Government.

The  former  NSSF boss during  intense  cross- examination  by  director   of  legal affairs   from   IGG  office, Sydney  Asubo,  denied    violating  procurement  procedures  saying  by the time  NSSF went  into  joint  ventures  with  Mugoya  Construction  procurement  laws   had  not  come into  force .

“ As the   board  we  did comply  with management to  obtain all the  necessary advice  and clearances  which  were required  at  the  time  project  was  being implemented,”  Onegi -  Obel  said.

Onegi-  said  he was  shocked    to  see that such  a profitable  project being  stopped   yet a lot of   benefits  would have  accrued   from  it.

Court  heard  that Mugoya  Construction  Company  was  to  contribute an equity  of 51%  and  that  NSSF  was  to contribute  41% . The project was supposed to be done in phases at   a cost of sh16b.

The charges against Onegi-Obel were instituted in 2010. The IGG said  he committed   the offences between 2004 and  2005.
The funds the IGG said were  pilfered  during  transactions in  which NSSF, through  a company  called  Premier, entered a  joint venture with Mugoya, Estates Ltd a  private business company.

The venture involved   a plan to construct 5000 housing units by Nsimbe Holdings Ltd.

Related stories

State concludes prosecution in Onegi-Obel NSSF case

Court summons ex- NSSF chairman over sh8b

Ex-NSSF boss charged over sh8b botched deal

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