It is alleged that the accused fraudulent procured and supplied chloris gayana, a kind of grass, from one government farm to another at the cost of sh54, 400, 000.
CORRUPTION | PROCUREMENT
National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Data Bank (NAGRC&DB) boss, Dr. Charles Lagu, and three others are on Friday set to know their bail fate.
Makindye Court Chief Magistrate, Prossy Katushabe was Thursday expected to deliver a ruling on the accused's bail application but they were not produced in court.
However, a reliable source, told New Vision that the accused's bail will be conducted at Buganda Road Court on Friday through video conferencing. They have been on remand at Kitalya Prison for a week.
Lagu, 44, is jointly charged with Philip Ezekiel Mukani, 31, the procurement officer, Olivious Komujuni, 27, the animal husbandry officer, and Emmanuel Kafute Rumanzi, 37, the director Nuruma Holdings Limited.
The accused are battling charges of abuse of office, causing financial loss, obtaining money by false pretense and conspiracy to defraud under Sections 11, 20, 305 and 309, of the Anti-Corruption and Penal Code Act, respectively.
The offence of abuse of office attracts a maximum sentence of seven years in prison, on conviction, causing financial loss 14 years, while conspiracy to commit a felony elicits three-year imprisonment.
The accused denied the charges with Lagu insisting that the payments were done following the right procedure.
The offences stem from the fraudulent procurement and supply of chloris gayana, a kind of grass, from one government farm to another.
It is alleged that the grass was procured from Ruhengyere Farm and supplied to Nshaara Ranch and Sanga farms by Nuruma Holdings Limited at the cost of sh54, 400, 000.
Last week, the magistrate declined to hear the accused's bail application, citing time and social distancing.
However, she directed the lawyers and the prosecutor to submit in court written submissions concerning the bail application, which she will base on to deliver her ruling.
"The lawyers should submit in their submissions plus all the documents of the sureties then the prosecutor will reply before I deliver my verdict," she ordered.
Lawyers MacDosmam Kabega, Grace Karuhanga, David Kamukama and Deborah Nshemerirwa represent the accused.
The Principal State Attorney, Noah Kunya informed court that inquiries in the matter are in advanced stages and asked court to adjourn the case to another mention date.
Prosecution alleges that Lagu on October 15, 2018 at NAGRC&DB authorised a call off order N0. P00003 in favour of Nuruma for the supply and delivery of 1600kg of chloris gayana to Nshaara and Sanga field station, respectively, worth sh54, 400, 000, without request and confirmation of need from the said field farms.
According to prosecution, Lagu committed the arbitrary act in abuse of authority of his office, hence prejudicial to his employer.
It is further alleged that Lagu in the same period and place, irregularly effected payment of 51, 136, 000 to Nuruma, for the supply and delivery of 1600kg of chloris gayana to Nshaara and Sanga, respectively, in disregard of procurement procedures.
Prosecution states that the act caused financial loss of the said money to Government.
Mukani is accused of initiating the procurement for the supply of the said grass to the field farms between October 15, 2018 and December 6, 2018, in abuse of his office.
Prosecution also alleges that Komujuni on December 5, 2018 at Ruhengyere field station in Kiruhura district unlawfully released 1600kg of the grass, the property of Nuruma.