COURT of Appeal Judge, Augustine Nshimye has granted the former National Forestry Authority Executive Director, Damian Akankwasa bail pending the hearing of his second appeal
By Betty Amamukirori
COURT of Appeal Judge, Augustine Nshimye has granted the former National Forestry Authority (NFA) Executive Director, Damian Akankwasa bail pending the hearing of his second appeal.
Justice Nshimye granted the bail on condition that the convict in addition to the Sh5m deposited in the Anti-corruption court, he deposits another sh5m cash and the original receipt for the sh5m deposited with the registrar.
“Each of his four sureties who are approved will execute bail bonds of sh50m non cash each,” read part of the judgment.
In the ruling seen by New Vision, Akankwasa’s passport and land title held in the Anti-corruption court are to be transferred to the court of appeal and to be kept by the Registrar.
The ruling also demands that Akankwasa reports to the Registrar every last Friday of each month to extend his bail until his appeal is heard, starting June 26.
In January this year, Akankwasa was given a custodial sentence of two years imprisonment for abuse of office by the Anti-corruption court, since he committed the crime while serving in a managerial position.
He was found guilty by the Grade One magistrate Susanne Okeny, of selling 10,000 eucalyptus poles from Mwenge Forest Reserve at a half price of sh10,000 each instead of sh20,000 despite protests from the director of plantations.
Being aggrieved with the sentence, he appealed to the high court Anti-Corruption Division. The conviction and sentence were however, upheld by Justice Lawrence Gidudu on March 20, 2015.
Still not satisfied, he appealed to the court of appeal and also filed for bail pending hearing of the appeal in anticipation of delay in the hearing. His counsel Francis Ogwado argued that he was a first time offender, of advanced age and that his health was worsening.
Ogwado expressed fears that the hearing of the appeal might take long, making the appellant stay in prison for more months yet his appeal has a likelihood of success. The state was represented by Robert Opiya.
On Thursday, while making the ruling, the judge said that he was satisfied with the evidence before court that the appellant is a first time offender.
“He was of good character before he was committed to prison and is of advanced age. He abided by the bail conditions upon which he was sentenced by the trail court,” Nshimye said.
Nshimye also agreed that the appeal hearing might take long since court has just completed a criminal session and is about to start a combined constitutional and civil session. He said the appellant is likely to serve more 6 months before his appeal is heard.
Meanwhile the appellant’s wife Juliet is in Luzira Prison serving a three year jail term for theft of sh900m she stole from her husband.
Court grants former NFA boss bail