BY SIMON LUBEGA
Interdicted Executive Director of the National Animal Genetic Resource Center and Data Bank (NAGRIC & DB), Dr Charles Lagu has been set free after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) withdrew corruption related charges against him.
In a notice submitted before the Kololo based Anti-corruption Court, DPP Justice Jane Frances Abodo withdrew charges against Dr Lagu and Ms Olivious Komujuni, who served as Animal Husbandry officer.
The duo with others were last year indicted on accusations of abuse of office, causing financial loss, obtaining money by false pretense and conspiracy to defraud in regard to the procurement hybrid pasture for cattle.
They appeared before the Anti-corruption Court at Kololo for hearing of the case but prosecution presented the DPP notice informing the court that they were discontinuing with the matter.
“This is to inform the court that DPP has decided to discontinue proceedings against Dr Lagu and Ms Komujuni,” reads the notice in part.
On May 6 2020, Agriculture Minister Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja citing the gravity of the offences, interdicted Dr Lagu to allow investigations to take place unhindered.
Other suspects on the file are Philip Ezekiel Mukani the procurement officer and the director of private firm; Nuruma Holdings Limited, Mr Emmanuel Kafute Rumanzi.
The state had alleged that on October 15, 2018 at NAGRC in Entebbe, Wakiso District, Dr Lagu in abuse of the authority of his office did with an arbitrary act prejudicial to the interests of his employer to wit authorised call off order in favour Nuruma Holdings Limited for the supply and delivery of 1000 Kilogrammes and 600Kgs of Chloris Gayana to Nshara Ranch and Sanga Field Station respectively worth Shs54.4 million without request and confirmation of need from the said field farms.
It alleged that on January 8 2019, at NAGRC in Entebbe, Dr Lagu in abuse of office effected the payment of Shs51.1 million to Nuruma Holdings Limited for supply and delivery of 1000Kgs and 600Kgs of Chloris Gayana to Nshara Ranch and Sanga Field Station in disregard of procurement procedures. The state contends that the payment caused financial loss to the government.
Prosecution alleged that on October 15, 2018 and December 2018 at NAGRC in Entebbe, Mukani abused his office when he irregularly initiated a procurement for supply of Chloris Gayana to Nshara Ranch and Sanga Field farm station.
It is alleged that on December 5 2018 at Ruhengeyere field Station in Kiruhura District, Komujuni being employed and assigned the duty of maintaining Chloris Gayana at Ruhengyere, abused the authority when he unlawfully released 1600kgs of Chloris Gayana to Nuruma Holdings Limited.