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UWA officials at center of missing ivory case granted bail

By Michael Odeng

Added 21st January 2016 10:53 PM

Lochomin granted the accused bail after each presented three substantial sureties in court to stand for them

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Lochomin granted the accused bail after each presented three substantial sureties in court to stand for them

The Anti-Corruption Court has granted bail to four Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) officials accused of failure to account for 1,340kg of ivory valued at sh3.5b.

Moses Sikuku, 42, (head ranger), Prosper Wasike, 52, (Assistant Warden Enforcement officer) and armoury clerks John Lapeyo, 39, and Moses Olinga, 40, were granted a cash bail of sh2m each by Grade One Magistrate Peter Fred Lochomin on Thursday.

According to the charge sheet, the ivory went missing between 2009 and 2014 from UWA stores headquarters in Kampala.

The accused's sureties were bonded at sh5m each not cash. The sureties among others include Peter Swilike Kisa, 59, (consultant), Jackson Kyekweko, 45, (Reproductive Health Uganda director) Charles Nyakana (Naalya S.S teacher) and Ambrose Toolit, 40, Active Citizenship programme officer.

Lochomin granted the accused bail after each presented three substantial sureties in court to stand for them.

"You (accused) should forfeit to the state the said cash bail; if you fail to do so, then you will be remanded till next month" he said.

The magistrate also directed the accused to deposit their passports in court to restrict them from leaving the country before the matter is determined and disposed of. He also directed the state to disclose evidence to defence lawyer Daniel Okalebo before trial starts.

Sikuku has worked with UWA (headquarters) since 2006 while Lapeyo joined UWA in 2004. According to Okalebo, the duo is still working with UWA.

Meanwhile, Olinga who has been on suspension for one year and terminated last month joined UWA in year 2000 and Wasike who was terminated four years ago, now a peasant joined the authority in 1997.

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