Interdicted Pader CAO Faces Fresh Arrest Over Financial Impropriety

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Charles Otai, the interdicted Chief Administrative Officer of Pader district is facing fresh arrest over allegations of financial impropriety.

Charles Otai, the interdicted Chief Administrative Officer of Pader district is facing fresh arrest over allegations of financial impropriety.

Florence Namayanja, the vice chairperson of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee says that Otai has been summoned to appear before the committee within two weeks to respond to queries of improper accountability and loss of money. She threatened that Otai would be arrested if he fails to show up.

The arrest threat followed appeals to the committee by Grandfield Omonda, the acting CAO who accused Otai of failure to cooperate in attempts to ensure proper accountability and recovery of the unaccounted for funds. Otai, who was expected to appear before the parliamentary committee in Gulu last Sunday, failed to show up.

A report by the Auditor General covering the last two financial years indicate that Pader district has failed to account for billions of shillings besides issues of poor accountability that include missing vouchers. The financial transactions cited in the report include 1.5 billion shillings Conditional Grant that was reportedly unspent yet has not been returned to the Consolidated Fund since 2008. Other queries are 250 million shillings that was allegedly given out to staff as administrative advances but has remained unaccounted for and an irregular transfer of 30 million shillings from the district salary account among others.

Namayanja explained that Otai and the district accounting team have been summoned to appear before the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee to respond to the queries with clear evidence. Peter Ogwang, the Youth MP for Eastern region who is also a member of the committee decried the poor accountability by the districts, which he said was giving room to the district staff to embezzle money meant to provide services for the population.

Pader leaders have a history of causing financial loss to the district. In October last year, Peter Odok  W’oceng, the former LC5 chairperson of Pader and Charles Otai, the CAO were arrested and charged before the Anti Corruption Court with two counts of Abuse of office, Causing Financial loss and Conspiracy to defraud contrary to the Anti Corruption Act and the Penal code Act. The officials were allegedly involved in the illegal and irregular award of a tender to repair district vehicles and eventual payment of over shillings 50 million to Rising Star Transport company.

It is for this reason that Otai was interdicted out of office.