KAMPALA – Buganda Road Court Chief Magistrate, Miriam Okello Ayo has on Tuesday 26 extended the arrest warrant ordering police to apprehend Kampala Lord Mayor Elias Lukwago before January 15, 2020, if one of the suspects he stood surety snubs the next trial.
The Chief Magistrate’s directive followed the failure by Lukwago to fulfill his duties as surety to ensure the suspect appears for trial before the court.
It should be recalled in 2015, Lukwago stood surety for Sandra Katebalirwe Ngabo wife to then renowned FDC party pastor David Happy Ngabo, after Katebalirwa was accused of fleecing Chinese nationals of over Shs200 million.
To secure her temporary freedom, Katebalirwa presented four sureties including Elias Lukwago, Philemon Mushabe and Henry Ssempijja, a team court found as substantial and that would compel her return to court for trial, a development that saw her released on bail.
However, after securing her temporary freedom, Katebalirwa went into hiding and never returned to court to stand trial, prompting court to order for the arrest and subsequent imprisonment of her sureties.
As soon as Lukwago learnt of his pending arrest, he sought refuge in High court and moved swiftly to challenge the Magistrate’s decision to order for his arrest and compelling him to pay the bonded UGX50M or serve Katebalirwa’s would be a sentence of 3 months in jail.
In his suit, Lukwago argued that the lower court erred when it took a decision to return back Katebalirwa’s forfeited passport without the consent of her sureties, a move that gave the suspect room to flee the country and escape justice.
On September 24, Lukwago survived the warrant of arrest after sending his lawyer Nathan Mpagi, who informed court that he (Lukwago) was out of the country on official duties.
The senior state attorney Jonathan Muwaganya asked court to issue a warrant of arrest against Lukwago because he has never appeared in court and an international warrant of arrest against Katebareirwe be extended.
She was charged with obtaining money by false pretence, forgery and uttering false documents and she denied all the charges.
The prosecution alleged that on 8th July 2016 at Rwenzori Towers in Nakasero, Katebareirwe and others defrauded Wu-WeiLing of Mama Mia Investments of $68,530 under the guise that they would rent him space at Imperial Botanical Shopping Mall whereas not.
It is alleged that on June 2, 2016, Katebareirwe, fraudulently obtained sh192m from one Wei Ling by falsely pretending she would offer him rooms for rent.