The former Principal Accountant in the Ministry of Public Service Christopher Obey has died while serving multiple prison sentences for corruption.
Obey died on Friday afternoon in Mulago Intensive Care Unit where Luzira prison authorities had rushed him on Thursday when he developed breathing difficulties.
Obey has been in Luzira prison since 2018 serving a 14-year jail term handed to him by the Anti Corruption Court Judge Margaret Tibulya. His other fellow convicts were Bob Kasango who died in February 2021 while serving a 16 year jail term, the ageing Jimmy Lwamafa who was Permanent Secretary Ministry of Public Service and Stephen Kiwanuka Kunsa, the former Commissioner for Compensation. They were found guilty of conspiring to forge a certificate of taxation and a certificate of costs requiring the Attorney General to pay Kasango’s defunct law firm Hall and Partners 15.4 billion Shillings.
The money, stolen in 2011 and 2012, was pension and gratuity for some 6,340 pensioners.
Obey was believed to be the holder of the largest number of title deeds in Uganda, numbering in the hundreds. At least two hundred title deeds which were found to be in his own names were frozen by the ministry of lands and can no longer be transferred used as security in transactions by Obey or his agents. Other land titles in names of companies in which he was major shareholders were also seized and management of such companies failed to recover them from the government.
Prior to the 2018 conviction, Obey had already been convicted and sentenced to ten year in jail by the Anti Corruption Court Judge Lawrence Gidudu for irregular budgeting of 88.2 billion shillings during the financial year 2010/2011. Obey with Lwamafa and Kunsa had indicated that the money was meant for civil servants’ contribution to NSSF, well knowing that government workers are not required to contribute to NSSF.