The Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala has remanded Senior Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Karamoja Affairs, Joshua Abaho, to Luzira Prison until May 2, 2023, over the diversion of relief items meant for vulnerable communities in Karamoja sub-region.
Abaho is accused of conspiring with his superior, the Minister of Karamoja Affairs, Mary Gorreti Kitutu, to defraud the government of its iron sheets.
He was charged with the loss of public property and corruption on the same file where Kitutu and her brother Michael Naboya Kitutu were previously charged and granted bail.
Abaho denied the charges and asked to be released on bail on grounds that he is innocent and the charges against him are bailable by the Anti-Corruption Court.
Abaho’s lawyers said he had a land title in his name which he was ready to deposit with the court.
Abaho presented five sureties to the Anti-Corruption Court who include Kenneth Mugumya Tebijuka, Johnson Musinguzi, Geoffrey Ndiwalana, Simon Peter Kasyate, and Simon Tumwesigye Karokora.
The prosecution led by David Bisamunyu and Jonathan Muwaganya objected to the bail application on grounds that the evaluation report of the land title he presented showed the land is registered as a Private Mile in his name and it shows two plots of land yet they have brought one land title.
The prosecution also argued that the sureties did not have the capacity to meet the terms of the bond as per the regulations governing the Anti-Corruption Court and that it is on record that the sureties of Abaho’s co-accused were bonded at 200 million shillings.
The prosecution also prayed that the court deny Abaho bail and order him to deposit his two land titles with the court should the court be inclined to release him.
Chief Magistrate Aciro adjourned the case to May 2nd and sent Abaho to Luzira Prison until she decides on his bail application. Kitutu and Naboya, who were present in Court, have had their bail bonds extended until then.
Abaho is the fourth suspect to be charged in the Iron Sheets Scandal, along with Minister Kitutu, Naboya, Finance and Economic Planning Minister Amos Lugoloobi, and State Minister for Karamoja Affairs Agnes Nandutu.