Akullo to Face Police Inquiry

It has emerged that Grace Akullo, the head of the Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate (CIID), is expected to face officials from the police’s Professional Standards Unit (PSU).

According to police sources, PSU investigators will ask Akullo to clarify her eyebrow-raising revelations last week that the Shs 169 billion pension scam case collapsed in court because money changed hands.

Though she is not accused of any wrongdoing, sources in the police told The Observer last week that she will have to expound on her claims that some suspects in the scam admitted to channeling bribes through two detectives in an attempt to get her to kill the pension scam investigation.

Speaking to Daily Monitor last week, Akullo named two CIID officers as the bribe takers and conduits. The duo reportedly authored another report exonerating the key suspects in the ministry of Public Service where the scam was orchestrated.

Akullo also revealed that during a meeting she had with two suspects in her office, they (suspects) claimed they gave her officers Shs 100m to take to her and $350,000 to an unnamed journalist to buy her a house.

It is these kinds of revelations that the PSU will be seeking more clarification on.

“She claimed that she met some of the suspects in her office who admitted attempting to bribe her. Did she record the conversation?” said the source, trying to explain why Akullo needs to clarify

But a knowledgeable source said according to standard police procedure, Akullo will be required to write to the Professional Standards Unit pinning the officers she named in the media interview. Under the law, bribing or attempting to bribe a police officer is a criminal offence.

Contacted on Tuesday, Akullo declined to comment, referring us to police spokesman Fred Enanga. Enanga said on Tuesday:

“They [PSU] are trying to find out if some of the things she told the media are true or not. This is because some of the information which was in the media was not revealed

by her but they [media] claim it was exposed by her.”

Enanga added that he is not yet sure when Akullo would appear at PSU. Our sources told us that the Inspector General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura recently ordered the PSU to start investigating the matter. In a statement, a copy of which we have seen, Kayihura also warned senior police officers to follow official protocol while dealing with the press.

“Like it has been before, all police information should pass through the right channels before it goes out to the public and the media. It has to pass through me, public relations officers, and commissioners after receiving permission,” Kayihura said.

The directive was issued a day after Akullo’s revelations, and The Observer understands that the police chief was not impressed by the way Akullo handled the

matter. Kayihura said the pension scam investigation is still alive and will be reinstated, explaining that it was only dismissed on a technicality.

“While we acknowledge that there could have been shortcomings on the part of some officers involved in the investigation, this was not fatal to the case. In fact, the CIID working closely with the DPP did a commendable job. The allegations that the police killed the case are not correct,” Kayihura said.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Corruption Court last week declined to release passports belonging to the freed suspects. Sources at the court told The Observer that after their case was dismissed, four of the nine suspects applied to have their passports returned.

Those who wanted their passports back are Peter Ssajjabi (East African Community Beneficiaries Association), Christopher Obey (former principal accountant in the ministry of Public Service), Francis Lubega (former information analyst) and David Japins Oloka (former senior accounts assistant).

Their lawyers asked court to return the passports but Chief Magistrate Sarah Langa Siu who had earlier on dismissed the case against them refused to release the passports on grounds that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mike Chibita, had indicated that he would reinstate the case.

On April 13, Langa dismissed the charges against the nine suspects citing prosecution’s failure to prosecute the case. The suspects, including interdicted permanent secretary

Jimmy Lwamafa, were accused of fleecing pensioners of more than Shs 169bn, which was allegedly paid to non-existent beneficiaries through a syndicated fraud scheme through Cairo International Bank.

Additional reporting by URN and Derrick Kiyonga.

Source : The Observer

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