Maracha officials arrested over alleged misappropriation of shs1.9bn

By Andrew Cohen Amvesi        

MARACHA. Top Maracha district officials were on Monday arrested and grilled for more than nine hours at Arua central police station (CPS) over allegations of abuse of office and misappropriation of UGX1.9 billion.

The officials spent the useful time of the day sweating plasma in the office of regional Criminal Investigations Department (CID) West Nile answering questions related to the money which was meant for constructing classroom blocks at Kololo Seed Secondary School in Tara Sub County.

Josephine Angucia, the West Nile region police mouthpiece

Their arrest follows reports that much of the money was allegedly swindled and as a result, the visibly shoddy project stalled due to lack of funds yet all the dime was wired to the district coffers for that purpose.

After numerous investigations into the matter, police swung into action by summoning a number of the affected officials and later released three of them on bond as investigations continue into the matter.

Josephine Angucia, the West Nile region police mouthpiece identified the three officials as Flavia Osoa, the District Education Officer (DEO), Paul Abiribale Tatia, the District Internal Auditor and Nolah Avako, the Senior Environment Officer.

She said the District Engineer and the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) have also been summoned to appear at Arua CPS where they are expected to also record their statements on Tuesday.

“It is true that the regional CID office of West Nile opened a general enquiry file to investigate an allegation of abuse of office and misappropriation of funds which were meant to complete some construction works at Kololo Seed Secondary School in Maracha district. As inquiries continued into that, the Regional CID officer and his team went on ground to confirm the allegations and to assess the projects which were supposed to be constructed but stopped due to shortage of funds,” Angucia said.

“So, from there, the various offices at the district were summoned to West Nile regional police headquarters to give statements so as to assist in investigation of this allegation of abuse of office and misappropriation of funds. Since morning, some of the district officials have been coming; they have been interrogated and others are yet to come,” Angucia added.

She said out of those summoned, three of the officials were released on police bond after recording their statements. Meanwhile Angucia said the remaining officials including the CAO and the district Engineer will report to police on Tuesday.

“After handling the district officials, at the right time, the contractor and other people will also be summoned to give their statements over the same matter. Today, the district officials that were interrogated are Nolah Avako, the Senior Environment Officer, Flavia Osoa, the District Education Officer (DEO) and Paul Abiribale Tatia, the District Internal Auditor. The three were released on police bond pending further inquiries while the CAO and the Engineer will report tomorrow,” Angucia said.

She said when investigations are done, those who will be found to have errored will be charged accordingly.

“At the end of our inquiries, we will be able to come up with prime suspects; some will become witnesses and others will become prime suspects,” Angucia remarked.

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