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Pension scam: Court dismisses appeal for release of land titles

By Edward Anyoli

Added 21st July 2020 06:56 PM

While delivering the ruling on July 15, Gidudu said the titles were not exhibited in court for court to make an order for the release of the titles.

Pension scam: Court dismisses appeal for release of land titles

While delivering the ruling on July 15, Gidudu said the titles were not exhibited in court for court to make an order for the release of the titles.

KAMPALA- Court has dismissed an application for release of land titles belonging to former senior account assistant in ministry of public service (foreign pension) convicted of embezzling sh362m.

Justice Lawrence Gidudu of the Anti- Corruption Court in Kololo, Kampala, dismissed an application filed by David Japian Oloka over insufficient evidence.

Gidudu said Oloka did not adduce sufficient evidence to warrant court to make an order for the return of his land titles, which he claims, were confiscated by the police.

"There is insufficient evidence to obtain the orders sought. The applicant (Oloka) cannot on basis of this scant information obtain remedies contained in his motion," Gidudu said.

Oloka in October 2015 pleaded guilty before the Anti- Corruption Court magistrate in Kololo, Kampala to embezzlement charges and was subsequently convicted on his own plea of guilt.

He has since applied to court to have his several land titles which he said is in the custody of the state given back to him.

Oloka wants titles comprising 56 plots of land on Block218 Kyadondo, one plot on Block115, Kyaggwe, and other plots in Tororo town, Malamba town and Jinja city given back to him. 

While delivering the ruling on July 15, Gidudu said the titles were not exhibited in court for court to make an order for the release of the titles.

"Since the applicant alleges that the police is in possession of his titles which the respondent (Director of Public Prosecutions) denies, it is prudent for the applicant to proceed against the Attorney General by suit and adduce evidence to prove his claim. This court cannot grant the remedies sought. The result is that the application fails and is dismissed," Gidudu said.

Fiona Kwezi a state attorney from DPP's office said though the office of the DPP is not in possession of the titles, she said Oloka is still being investigated over other cases for illicit enrichment and embezzlement, which investigations are yet to be concluded.

"I know that the applicant (Oloka) is being investigated for illicit enrichment and embezzlement of government funds arising from his participation in the pension fraud," Kwezi said in an affidavit.

Through his lawyers from Bbaale and Partners Advocates, Oloka had sought court's order seeking a declaration that DPP's refusal to return his certificate of titles is unlawful.

Background

The prosecution said Oloka on January 27, 2009, while working at the ministry of public service, embezzled $ 102,108 from Cairo International Bank, Kampala Road Branch, which was under his authority by virtue of his position.

According to the prosecution, Oloka went to Cairo Bank with a letter written by the then principal accountant, Christopher Obey, requesting the bank to give him drafts of cash payment for foreign pensioners.

The bank agreed and he signed and received $87,434. Later on the same day, he went back to the same bank with yet another letter written by Obey who currently in Luzira over embezzled pension funds and received another $14,674, as return drafts of payments for foreign pensioners.

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