The Permanent Secretary to the Judiciary Pius Bigirimana has called for an investigation into the fraudulent payment of Shs1.7bn orchestrated by three top officers from the Commercial Court. However, the investigation implicates lawyers including the law firm owned by the attorney general of Uganda, Mr William Byaruhanga.
In the document seen by this website, Bigirimana wrote to the Director of Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department Assistant Inspector General of Police Grace Akullo requesting her to investigate Shs1.7bn which was paid to Heed Debt Recovery Services Limited and US$ 48,294.26 which was paid to Kasirye, Byaruhanga and Co. Advocates. The attorney general is a founding partner of this law firm.
“I have received communication from the Permanent Secretary / Secretary to the Treasury informing me of possible fraudulent payment of Shs1,681,042 to Head Debt Recovery. This payment was made on recommendations made by the following; H/W Dr Agnes Nkonge-She issued a Court Order directing the payment on 4th June 2020, H/W Mary Ikit requisitioned the payment and attached a receipt dated 26/01/202 to confirm that the payment was genuine,” said Bigirimana.
Bigirimana further informed Akullo that there was another suspicious payment which was made to Kasirye Byaruhanga and Co. Advocates in favour of Entebbe Handling Services of US$4829426.
“The payment was again originated by a court order signed by Dr Nkonge. The requisition was originally made by Tom Chemutai and later by Mary Ikit on 16th January 202. I shall appreciate if you investigated these two payments to establish whether actually they were fraudulently requisitioned or are genuine,” he said.
According to sources within, the scam arises from the application OO-C-NO-08 of 2006 where the said sum was deposited with the registrar of High Court on the 26th July 2006 under General Receipt No: Y0266225 as per attached payment advice of 26th day of July 2006, be paid out to the applicant/ claimants and or their authorized agents/ representatives of the following details under the orders of Nkonge to Secretary to the Judiciary who is the accounting officer.
He also provided Bank details of the receiver as Heed Recovery Service Ltd and Bank accounting number 7255001733 in Eco Bank Rwenzori Branch. In order to quicken the transaction, Ikit wrote a memo to the accounting officer asking him to release the said money to the beneficiary.
However, after money was transferred to Eco Bank, on July 8, the Secretary to the Treasurer Keith Muhakanizi, was noticed about the huge transaction which was made on one of the judiciary accounts, this forced him to write to Bigirimana to stop the payment because it was a possible fraud.
Nevertheless, other sources have revealed that that Eco Bank manager had secretly reversed the payment to Judiciary accounts in Bank of Uganda on learning that police had started investigating the alleged fraudulent payment.
Sources in police revealed that the three judicial officers are being investigated on file CID40/207/2020 in a fraud case.
After getting all the necessary documents that raised the ingredients of fraud from the authoritative sources, police have instituted the investigations to question the implicated judicial officers on how they managed to make orders for immediate transfer of funds to named back accounts without doing the due diligence.
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