On Friday, the Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Pamela Lamunu released the accused on a cash bail of sh7m on grounds that their sureties were substantial.
Court has released Dr Charles Lagu the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Data Bank (NAGRC&DB) boss, and three others on bail. They were charged with abuse of office, causing financial loss and obtaining money by false pretence.
Others are 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 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.
On Friday, the Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Pamela Lamunu released the accused on a cash bail of sh7m on grounds that their sureties were substantial. The sureties were directed to execute a non-cash bail of sh40m.
The magistrate directed that the accused deposit in court their passports and a copy of their national identity cards.
The magistrate dismissed allegations that Lagu prohibited some NAGRC&DB employees from releasing documents to the State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SHACU) investigators for lack of evidence.
"Allegations that Lagu is issuing threats to people who give information to investigators is speculation by the state," she noted.
The magistrate also said State Prosecutor Carolyne Tabaro did not prove to court that the Lagu jumped police bond.
Lamunu observed that there has been constant communication between Lagu, police and officials from the SHACU, and hence was not a wanted man.
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.