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Court Dismisses Case Against Pension Scam Suspects

In her ruling on Monday evening, Sarah Langa, the Chief Magistrate of the Anti Corruption Court concurred with the defense counsels John Isabirye and Evans Ochieng saying that, prosecution had failed to produce a single witness to testify against the suspects.
The Anti Corruption Court has dismissed the multi-billion shillings pension case against nine suspects citing the failure by the state to prosecute the suspects.

The suspects are Jimmy Lwamafa, the Interdicted Public Service Ministry Permanent Secretary,  former principal accountant Christopher Obey, Steven Kunsa Kiwanuka, former director for research and development, David Japins Oloka, former senior accounts assistant, Francis Lubega, former information system analyst, Steven Lwanga, former account assistant, Peter Ssajjabi, the secretary General East African Community Beneficiaries Association, Ishaka Sentongo, the Assistant Manager Operations Cairo Bank and Compliance Officer Ms Rahmah Nakigozi Mugeere.

In her ruling on Monday evening, Sarah Langa, the Chief Magistrate of the Anti Corruption Court concurred with the defense counsels John Isabirye and Evans Ochieng saying that, prosecution had failed to produce a single witness to testify against the suspects. Langa argued that, the patience of the court had been tested and it could not hold it any more adding that, justice ‘delayed\' is justice ‘denied\'.

Earlier on the defense lawyers led by John Isabirye and Evans Ochieng had among other things argued that the prosecution had made it a habit to just come to court and seek for an adjournment for the last two years without showing any seriousness in prosecuting their clients.

It came after prosecution unsuccessfully asked court to adjourn for two weeks to enable them reorganize citing among other things the demise of Senior Principle State Attorney Joan Kagezi as one of the setbacks that slowed down their assessment of evidence.

However, Langa noted that, the case was registered in her court in January 2013 and for all this time, no single witness has ever come to testify against these accused persons who are alleged to have stolen colossal sums of money to be expeditiously tried and their fate determined.

Langa noted that, “the Anti Corruption Court is a specialized court that was set up to dispose of corruption cases expeditiously, but for the last two years, the court has adjourned the case several times and it has now become a ceremony as stated by the accused\'s lawyer.

Despite dismissing the case, Langa declined to issue orders to have the frozen bank accounts of some the freed suspects lifted on grounds that it was not court that ordered the freezing. The suspects are accused of fleecing pensioners of more than Shs165 billion which was allegedly paid to 2605 non-existing beneficiaries through a syndicated fraud scheme. 

Shortly after the court ruling, Jane Okuo Kajuga, the spokesperson of the Directorate of Public Prosecution said it was unfortunate that court had entirely blamed the prosecution for the delay in prosecuting the case yet there were other factors that delayed the same which were not of their making.

She cited the closure of the court for over seven months and the case filed by Cairo Bank before the High court challenging its inclusion on the charge sheet.

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