KAMPALA – The Secretary to the Judiciary Pius Bugirimana has invited the Police Criminal Investigations Directorate to inquire into payments totalling to UGX 1.6 billion in alleged refund of security deposits by litigants, suspiciously passed through accounts of a private company.
In a letter to CID Director Grace Akullo, Mr. Bigirimana asked the CID to validate the source of the requisition for the said money in regard to the Commercial Court case of Kasekende Mujuzi & Others Vs Uganda Revenue Authority; and also wants investigators to probe a USD 48,294.26 payment to law firm M/s Kasirye, Byaruhanga and Company Advocates in the case of Entebbe Handling Services Vs Uganda Fish Packers Ltd.
As a result, the CID has asked three senior court officials to help the police with investigations in regard to the payments for requests made for refund of security deposits by litigants. The three are Chief Registrar Tom Chemutai and registrars Mary Ikit and Dr. Agnes Nkonge.
In a July 10, 2020 letter to Mr. Bigirimana, the Director for Police’s Criminal Investigations, Ms Grace Akullo indicates that the investigators want to find out the source of the transfer of over 1.6 billion from the judiciary accounts to M/s Heed Debt Recovery Service Ltd in Eco Bank.
Ms Akullo said that the money was transferred by Bank of Uganda to the said account and by the time the fraud was detected, the suspects had already withdrawn UGX. 200 million.
“The purpose of this letter is to request you to provide the requisition with its attachments (if any) made to your office which led to approval of the payment; payment request to the Ministry of Finance and other pay documents; a list of officials who handled the process and any other documents related to the case under investigation,” Ms Akullo wrote, also asking Mr. Bigirimana to make a statement in relation to the alleged transfer.
CID spokesman, Charles Mansio Twine confirmed the investigations but declined to offer more details, saying it was “unauthorised confidential communication”.
Earlier, Mr. Bigirimana had written Ms Akullo asking the CID to investigate the two payments to establish whether they were fraudulently requisitioned or are genuine.
Saying he had been alerted by the Secretary to the Treasury, Mr. Keith Muhakanizi about the a possible fraudulent payments, the Judiciary PS indicated that the transaction was carried out on on recommendation of Registrar of the Commercial Court, Dr. Agnes Nkonge who issued a court order directing the payment on June 4, 2020.
“Her Worship Mary Ikit requisitioned the payment and attached a receipt dated January 26 2020 to confirm that the payment was genuine,” Mr. Bigirimana adding “coupled with the above is another payment which was made to Kasirye, Byaruhanga and Company Advocates in favour of Entebbe Handling Services of $48,294.26.”
Mr.Bigirimana explained that the payment was again originated by a court order signed by Dr Nkonge and the requisition was originally made by His Worship Tom Chemutai (Acting Chief Registrar) and later by Ms Ikit on January 16 2020.