A former Daily Monitor and Eagle Online Journalist Arafat Nduga was on Monday April 9, 2018 charged with impersonation, obtaining money by false pretence and elecrtonic fraud by Buganda Road Magistrates Court.
Prosecution alleges that Nduga on several occasions conned people using the names of Eng. Irene Muloni, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources through a Facebook account and fake e-mail accounts.
The suspect was arrested after Ms Muloni alerted then Security minister Henry Tumukunde about the crime.
Eng. Muloni said she learnt of being impersonated after the executive director of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda, Mr Ernest Rubondo received an e-mail purportedly from the minister but thought it to be rather suspicious and decided to call her for confirmation.
The Minister then asked Mr Rubondo to send her a copy of the email and asked Gen Tumukunde to follow up the matter. She further told investigators that more suspicious e-mails kept coming in and innocent Ugandans were defrauded.
Nduga allegedly conned Ugandans who sought jobs in the oil and gas sector promising to get them jobs easily since he was ‘in charge’ as ‘Minister.’
Williams Musinguzi one of the names Nduga used in one of his fake minister’s Facebook accounts conned 1.2m from a one Sam Watasa purportedly meant to buy cement for the Minister’s site in Ntinda.
Court also learnt that in another fake Facebook account still in the names of Muloni, Nduga conned a one Kanyamugara of Shs90,000.
Nduga is said to be a student at Makerere University.
It is said that Nduga also hacked Minister of State and Minerals, Dr Peter Lokeris’ mobile phone and requested for large sums of money.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy, Robert Kasande and Board Chairman National Drug Authority(NDA) Dr. Medard Bitekyerezo were some of the victims.
Ms.Esther Nahirya, the Grade One Magistrate set April 24, 2018 for hearing of the case after prosecution told court that all investigations were complete.