Prosecution alleges that Ogol and Turyamuhika corruptly solicited for $300,000, but received $16,600 as part payment.
PIC: Charles Ogol and Geoffrey Turyamuhika interacting after the court hearing at the Anti-corruption Court in Kampala recently. (Credit: Nancy Nanyonga)
KAMPALA - The Assistant Inspector of Police has said he participated in laying a trap to arrest two interdicted finance ministry officials accused of soliciting for sh1b from a Chinese investor.
David Kitongo said he was led by the lead investigator, Henry Mugumya, to ministry of finance offices in Kampala after being tipped that some staff of the ministry had solicited for a sh1b bribe.
Kitongo said Hassan Sserunjogi handed to him $16,800 (about 61.3m), which was allegedly used as trap against, John Charles Ogol and Geoffrey Turyamuhika.
He was testifying as prosecution witness before Justice Lawrence Gidudu at the Anti- Corruption Court in Kololo, Kampala on Thursday.
"Sserunjogi pulled out a khaki envelope, which was not sealed. He told me there was $16,800, and a voice recorder. I confirmed that it was the right amount," Kitongo said.
He added that he was instructed by Mugumya to keep watch on the window on the fourth floor of the finance ministry building and take note of whatever was happening.
Ogol, 57, and Turyamuhika, 37, were charged on April 7 last year with (corruption) soliciting for $300,000 (sh1b) to expedite the process of financing the construction of a power sub- station in Tororo district.
Prosecution alleges that Ogol and Turyamuhika corruptly solicited for $300,000, but allegedly received 16,600 as part payment.
Prosecution said Ogol and Turyamuhika on January 30, 2017, while employed as public officials in the finance ministry, as principal finance officer and senior economist respectively, solicited for gratification of sh1b.
It is alleged by prosecution that Ogol on March 27, 2017 accepted a gratification of $16,600 (about sh59m). However, they denied the charges.
Alleged demand for $300,000
According to prosecution, Ogol and Turyamuhika, agreed to waive the taxes and allegedly demanded sh1b from Sserunjonji so as to facilitate the process of waiving the would-be taxes.
Prosecution said the accused demanded for a part payment of $50,000 (about sh180m) with the extra $250,000 supposed to be paid later in exchange of not paying taxes.
Officer contacts President
Following undue pressure from the accused, Sserunjoji reportedly contacted President Yoweri Museveni for his intervention over the matter. He reportedly explained according to the prosecution that two officials from the finance ministry demanded big sums of money as a bribe to facilitate government work.
Upon reporting to the President about the demand for bribe of $300, 000, Sserunjonji was advised that, that was a criminal matter, which he should report to the Police. He complied with the President directives and reported the matter at police at the Special Investigations Division (SID).
According to prosecution, the SID commandant then contacted State House Comptroller and a trap of $50,000 from State House was arranged, leading to the arrest of the two officials.
Prosecution said the money was allegedly taken to Ogol's office at the Ministry of Finance in Kampala where the two accused were. Before allegedly handing over the money to the accused persons, Sserunjonji tipped off the Police officers, who set up the trap.
Upon meeting the accused, the money was purportedly handed to them and Ogol and Turyamuhika allegedly received $16,600 (about sh59m)