Court To Hear Pension Scam Case in One Month

1393 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
High Court Judge, Lawrence Gidudu says despite pension scam suspects presenting special circumstances to warrant bail, they do not outweigh the colossal sums of money involved in the case.

The Anti-Corruption Court Judge has promised to hear the pension scam case within one month, and to set the suspects free if he finds that they do not have a case to answer.
High Court Judge, Lawrence Gidudu made the announcement on Monday morning after he declined to release the suspects; Jimmy Lwamafa, Christopher Obey and Stephen Kunsa Kiwanuka on bail.

Gidudu explained that the continued stay of the suspects in Luzira prison has seen the case take off compared to the earlier 165 billion shillings case that was dismissed.

The judge also observed that despite the suspects producing substantial sureties, they did not have the capacity to pay the 88 billion shillings in question in case the suspects fled.

Justice Gidudu promised to hear the case within one month, and to set the suspects free if he finds they do not have a case to answer.

Defense lawyers had also argued that the suspects would not flee the country, since they deposited their passports with the court. Justice Gidudu, said there are many suspects who have managed to leave the country, even with their passports in court. 

In his ruling, Gidudu said that despite the suspects presenting exceptional circumstances for bail like advanced age and ill health; they cannot outweigh the colossal amounts of money in the case.

The hearing of the main case continued in the court.

Lwamafa is the former permanent secretary public service ministry, Christopher Obey is the former principal accountant and Stephen Kunsa Kiwanuka is the former director research and development at the Ministry of Public Service.

Lwamafa is represented by Evans Ocen, Godfrey Himbaza represents Obey while John Isabirye is representing Kiwanuka.

This was the third attempt by the suspects to seek bail.

About two months ago, Justice Margaret Tibulya rejected to release them on bail. She agreed with the state that there is a high likelihood that the suspects once released, would interfere with the witnesses just like they did in the earlier collapsed pension case of 165 billion shillings that involved ghost pensioners.

The suspects are facing several charges in connection to an alleged fraudulent budgeting of over 88 billion shillings of civil servants' pension contribution to National Social Security Fund, yet civil servants don't contribute to NSSF.

They also face charges of diverting public resources amounting to 88 billion shillings. They deny all the charges.