Two suspects accused of causing government a financial loss in the Katosi road Scam have asked the Anti-Corruption court through their lawyers to acquit them citing lack of sufficient evidence.
The suspects are city businessman Apollo Senkeeto alias Mark Kalyesubula and Isaac Mugote, a former Housing Finance Bank official.
The two are charged together with former Works Minister, Engineer Abraham Byandala, Berunado Ssebbugga Kimeze, the former Acting Executive director Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA, Joe Ssemugooma, the former acting director finance and administration UNRA, Wilberforce Senjako, the former Regional accountant UNRA and Legal Counsel, Marvin Baryaruha.
They are battling 24 counts of abuse of office, disobedience of lawful orders, influence peddling, causing financial loss, corruption, theft and obtaining money by false pretense. They are also charged with uttering of false documents, conspiracy to defraud, obtaining execution of a security by false pretense and aiding and abetting the offence of causing financial loss.
Prosecution contends that between November and December 2013 in Kampala, the accused persons fraudulently conspired to defraud Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) of Shillings 24,790,823,522billion belonging to the government of Uganda meant for upgrading the 74km- Mukono-Katosi road.
On Wednesday, Norah Kaggwa, the lawyer of Mugote and Senkeeto asked the Anti- Corruption Court to acquit his clients, saying prosecution has failed to prove the ingredients of the charges. The ingredients are that the accused persons entered an agreement; they did so by deceit or any fraudulent means thereby defrauding the public.
Kaggwa told court that the relationship between the two accused persons is that Mugote is a banker and Senkeeto is a customer, says prosecution failed to prove any action from which an agreement to commit fraud can be inferred.
Prosecution contends that while employed by Housing Finance Bank (HFB) as a principle banking officer, Mugote committed the said offence when he fraudulently confirmed to Wilberforce Senjako, the former Regional Accountant UNRA that performance guarantees and payment security issued by HFB Ltd were authentic were as not.
The State Prosecutors, Sarah Birungi, Brenda Kimbugwe and Thomas Okoth pinned Senkeeto for uttering a false KCB bank bid guarantee for Shillings 1.9billion in support of a bid for procurement of the road upgrade. Senkeeto allegedly obtained execution of performance bond of Shillings 16.5b from the Insurance Company of East Africa and UAP, saying it was guaranteeing a pending payment for the road.
After listening to submissions by the defense, Justice Lawrence Gidudu adjourned the matter to June 13th, 2018 for further submissions on the different charges raised by the prosecution.