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Friday,September 25,2020 09:40 AM

Why BoU officials were denied bail

By Charles Etukuri

Added 22nd June 2019 01:25 PM

Last week, six top officials from Bank of Uganda were arrested and questioned by Police and State House Anti-Corruption Unit over issues related to transfer of currency from France.

Why BoU officials were denied bail

Last week, six top officials from Bank of Uganda were arrested and questioned by Police and State House Anti-Corruption Unit over issues related to transfer of currency from France.

Two Bank of Uganda officials who were arrested in connection with the ongoing investigations over issues related to the transfer of currency from France were denied bail because sureties they had presented in court were not substantial.

Francis Kakeeto and Fred Wanyama, who are both currency Managers of the Mbale and Kabale branch respectively were the two senior bank officials who travelled to France to inspect the printing and packaging of the money into the aircraft that flew it to Uganda.

The two officers were charged following a controversial BOU procurement of sh350 billion from French money printing firm Oberthur Fiduciaire that was under investigation by the State House Anti-Corruption unit and Criminal Investigation Directorate.

Last week, six top officials from Bank of Uganda were arrested and questioned by Police and State House Anti-Corruption Unit over issues related to transfer of currency from France.

The officers were arrested after anomalies were found in the BOU consignment which arrived at Entebbe International Airport in late April.

The money was flown to Entebbe from Liege Airport, in Belgium on April 27 aboard Ms. Kuehne++ Nagel cargo plane. Other reports had indicated that they had been arrested overprinting of excess money worth sh90b.

Grade One Magistrate Albert Asiimwe observed that Kakeeto's surety Charles Kamulegeya a teacher at Mbogo Mixed Senior Secondary properly identified himself but his introductory letter was presented to court late after the state prosecutor had already submitted on the bail application and she did not have time to scrutinize the documents.

State Prosecutor Innocent Aleto had opposed the bail application on grounds that even though Kakeeto surety  Kamulegeya had presented National Identity Card to prove he is a resident of Kibuye - Makindye Division, he had no Local Council 1 one letter to prove so.

He told court Kamulegeya has no utility bill or land title to prove it is his fixed place of abode.

The magistrate noted that "The national identity card was not enough to prove the place of residence of any person. The accused never presented to court LC 1 introductory letters, showing their places of residence," he ruled.

Asiimwe also ruled that Kakeeto's other surety who was also his wife and had identified herself as Prosy Kakeeto had a different name on the national identity card Prosy Najuga, which made him conclude that these were different people.

The magistrate also noted that Prossy did not present to the court a marriage certificate or statutory declaration to prove that she is married to the accused.

He also noted that the accused did not have sufficient time to prepare properly for their bail application.

"Justice hurried is justice buried. Likewise, justice delayed is justice denied," the magistrate said.

The magistrate also refused to grant the accused bail on grounds that the sureties did not prove to the court that they have fixed places of abode in their respective localities.

"The accused did not furnish court LC 1 introductory letters to show their places of abode. Therefore, it could be difficult to trace them in case the accused disappear," he said.

He said Kakeeto's sister and alleged wife did not present to court their working Identity Cards, to confirm that they work with Bank of Baroda. He also said Kakeeto has not proved to the court that he has a fixed place of abode.

Before delivering the ruling, the magistrate said he was mindful that the accused persons were innocent until proved guilty and that bail is given at the discretion of the court.

The two suspects who were remanded to Luzira Prison on Friday are set to appear in court to Tuesday for their bail hearing.

City lawyer Samuel Ejoru who represented the suspects told the Sunday Vision, they didn't have enough time to prepare the necessary documents for their sureties but noted that they will ensure that they are released on Tuesday on Bail.

"We shall work with their families, friends, and relatives to ensure we have proper documentation," Ejoru noted.

Investigations over the matter are still ongoing.

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