KAMPALA, UGANDA: The State Minister for Planning, Mr Amos Lugoloobi is today expected to return to the Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo for a ruling on his bail application after he was remanded to Luzira prison on Monday.
Lugoloobi who pleaded not guilty to charges related to the mismanagement of iron sheets meant for the vulnerable people of the Karamoja region was sent on remand until today, Thursday, April 20, when court will decide whether he gets released on bail or not.
The Ntenjeru North MP who was arrested last Friday was charged with two counts of dealing with suspect property contrary to section 21(a) of the Anti-Corruption Act in a Monday court session presided over by acting Senior Principal Magistrate Grade One, Abert Asiimwe.
Prosecution alleges that between July 14, 2022, and February 28, 2023, and February 1, 2023, and March 16, 2023, at OPM Stores in Namanve in Mukono District and at different places in Matugga, Wakiso District and Ntenjeru North Constituency in Kayunga District, Mr Lugoloobi dealt with government property including 700 pre-painted iron sheets having reason to believe that they were acquired as a result of loss of public property under section 10 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act.
According to state prosecution, the minister allegedly committed this offence well knowing that the said iron sheets were acquired as a result of the loss of public property.
On the second count of the same charge, the prosecution contended that the minister between the same period and same places dealt with 300 pre-painted iron sheets.
Through his legal team, Lugoloobi had presented a total of seven sureties for his bail but the magistrates concurred with the prosecution team that they needed to be accorded more time to study the documents presented by the sureties before letting the minister released.
Among the seven sureties present before the court included Namutumba Woman MP Hon Mariam Naigaga, EALA MP Hon James Kakooza, Kiboga East MP Dr Kefa Kiwanuka, Moses Kalangwa, the NRM Chairperson in Kayunga district and a prominent businessman.
Others were Mr Paul Mugambwa Sempa, a former ambassador of Uganda to Brazil; Mr Martin Ssekaja, Head of Operations at Uganda Security Printing Company and Dr Joseph Muvawaala, the executive director of National Planning Authority/Busoga Kingdom prime minister.
What the law says
According to Section 21A of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2009, that relates to dealing with suspected stolen property;
(1) A person who deals with property that he or she believes or has reason to believe was acquired as a result of an offence under this Act commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred and sixty currency points or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding seven years or both.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a person deals with the property if that person—
(a) holds, receives or conceals the property;
(b) enters into a transaction in relation to the property or causes such a transaction to be entered into; or
(c) removes the property from the jurisdiction of court for the purpose of assisting any person to avoid confiscation of that property.
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