The embattled Uganda Land Commission Chairperson Beatrice Byenkya Nyakaisiki has been arraigned in the Kampala Anti-Corruption Court on charges of obstruction of search and abuse of office.
Byenkya Nyakaisiki was also suspended from office to allow a full investigation in the affairs of the Uganda Land Commission and Land Fund where it is alleged billions were embezzled appeared before Chief Magistrate Joan Aciro . Charges of obstruction of search and abuse of office were read to her together with her three body guards from the Counter Terrorism Unit of Polic,Richard Anywar, Titus Wamono and Edward Turyatunga.
Prosecution told court that Beatrice Byenkya Nyakaisiki together with her body guards obstructed Michael Tumukurate, Zakaria Teberindwa, and Superintendent of Police Noreen Akello, officials from the Inspectorate of Government from carrying out a search in the ULC offices.
The officials were going to conduct a search while acting in the exercise of powers conferred by the Inspectorate of Government Act of 2002 but were obstructed on January 4th 2022 by the accused persons.
Byenkya Nyakaisiki denied the charges and were released on court bail even after the Inspectorate of Government prosecutor, Dr. Ernest Katwesigye had vehemently objected to the grant of bail because the accused persons’ sureties were not substantial.
According to Katwesigye, some of the sureties presented by the accused persons had information on their National Identification cards that was not matching with that one on the submitted Local Council one introduction letters.
The Chief Magistrate granted the accused persons a cash bail of 4 million shillings each and their sureties were each bonded 35 million shillings with exception of Turyatunga.
Turyatunga has been denied bail on grounds that his sureties had LC1 letters written in languages not known by court and were therefore considered not substantial.
He was advised to bring substantial sureties on January 17th 2022, if he is interested in bail. He was sent back on remand at Kitalya prison till then when the case will return for mention.
On October 12th 2021, the Lands Minister Judith Nabakooba suspended the management of the ULC and assumed duties of the Commission before directing the Inspectorate of Government-IG to interdict Byenkya and other commission leaders to pave way for investigations into allegations of misconduct, abuse of office, corruption and embezzlement of public funds in billions of shillings .
According to the 2020,- Auditor General’s report ULC did not have a land inventory and database for all government land and properties under its jurisdiction. The Auditor General found that 9.4 billion shillings was spent without supporting documents and overstated compensation payables amounting to 15 billion shillings among other irregularities .
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