By Spy Uganda
Omara Geoffrey, a city physical planner working with Lira Municipal Council, Lira City has been arrested and arraigned at Anti-Corruption Division Court, Kololo for soliciting and receiving a bribe of Ugx4 million.
In 2015, Ms. Rehema Akello acquired land from Lira District on a lease that expired after a period of 5 years. However, due to COVID-19 challenges, she was unable to file her lease extension application on time.
In June 2020, she submitted an application to the district for a lease extension. Omara Geoffrey, the Lira city planner, and Ogwal Philip, the Lira District Local Government’s physical planner, both considered this a late submission. The duo demanded Ugx4 million from her, stating the money was needed to help the land board work on her file. She initially refused to pay, but after being persuaded by Omara Geoffrey for six months, she gave the money to him using mobile money on October 29, 2020.
Omara Godfrey, the one who received the money, never divided it with his partner Ogwal Philip, prompting Ogwal to call Ms Akello and insist that she deliver him his portion. The two government agents’ constant harassment and extortion forced her to report the incident to the State House Anti-Corruption Unit on February 4, 2022.
The Unit in collaboration with the Uganda police conducted investigations that led to the arrest of Omara Geoffrey. His accomplice Ogwal Philip is still at large.
Mr. Omara Geofrey has been charged with corruption c/s 2(a) and 26 of the anti-corruption Act, 2009. He has been remanded to Luzira prison.
It is worth noting that the Unit has registered a huge success against corruption and has been able to recover over UGX30 billion tax payers’ money through prosecutions, and other measures used to compel corrupt officials to refund embezzled public funds.
The Unit has so far investigated different public servants for graft, including members of parliament, accounting officers, security personnel, directors of several government agencies and commissions among other gov’t big fish.
In addition to the above, the Unit has also ensured the safe return of over 600 Ugandans stranded after being trafficked to Arab countries. It has also conclusively investigated over 10,000 cases and interdicted over 200 government workers from public offices.
SH-ACU was established under Article 99(4) of the constitution of Uganda, which gives the President executive powers to either directly or indirectly perform his duties or through officers subordinate to him.
Launched on 10th December 2018, SH-ACU coordinates with all constitutionally mandated agencies to ensure that complaints raised by citizens are resolved.
The Unit also acts as a link between H.E. the President, citizens and Anti- Corruption agencies in relation to the Anti-Corruption issues.