Crime & Investigation

Akullo: I Wrote ‘Second Pension Scam Report’

Following the recent spate of murders of bodaboda riders sand taxi drivers by robbers and iron bar hit men in Mbabara Municipality, malady http://ddc.com.sa/media/widgetkit/widgets/lightbox/lightbox.php the cyclists and drivers have met to chart the way out.

In a meeting held at Comfort Travel Inn yesterday, chairpersons of all bodaboda stages in Mbarara agreed to choose several spies amongst themselves to bring down the murders in the district rather than relying on police.

Arinaitwe Moses, the bodaboda chairman Mbarara district said that the situation was gradually getting out of hand.

Among the identified dark spots were Nkokonjeru, Boma and Kakyeka.

The chairman further said that since their last meeting with police detectives this month, the situation had only worsened, witnessing nearly daily attacks on his colleagues every night.

It also emerged in the meeting that some of the security officers were actually participating in the attacks on the cyclist and drivers.

One private security guard just in the previous night had connived with a gang to rob a Toyota Premio number UAT 780S from a driver.

“However the driver over powered the thugs and a security operative was stubbed to death as others took off; this happened in Nkokonjeru,” said one Banada.

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All the stage leaders blamed security officers for not providing enough protection towards bodabodas especially at night.

CIID Mbarara central police station David Ibanda however told ChimpReports that night patrols and ambushes will be increased late at night to prevent all those that cause harm to drivers.

 
The Director of Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department (CIID), clinic http://cyberneuro.com/templates/fw_mazaya/warp/layouts/modules/templates/raw.php Grace Akullo has finally admitted authoring the controversial ‘second investigation report’ into the Shs169bn that largely exonerated Cairo International Bank of the fraud despite overwhelming evidence pinning its management in the scandal that shook the nation to the core.

Akullo had in earlier media interviews denied writing the contested report, patient http://cineaverde.com/wp-includes/class-wp-text-diff-renderer-inline.php saying it was a handiwork of two detectives who had received bribes to ‘kill’ the case.

However, visit appearing before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament on Friday last week, Akullo confirmed that indeed she led the team of police officers who drafted the report before sending it to IGP Gen Kale Kayihura and Public Service Minister, Henry Kajura.

“Yes, it’s my report. I wrote it together with a team of detectives who were handling the case,” said Akullo during the closed door session.

This was after MPs led by firebrand Abdu Katuntu grilled Akullo for several hours and asked her to tell them “nothing but the truth.”

Katuntu expressed shock that all along the CIID boss was distancing herself from the report.

“You have to tell us what exactly happened. There is overwhelming evidence that you wrote this report. Why are you denying it?” Katuntu quizzed Akullo.

He added: “I put it to you that you wanted to kill this case. All along I have been wondering who was responsible for the mess in this case. It’s not the DPP but you.”

Interestingly, while appearing before the Parliamentary committee on Defense and Internal Affairs on April 28, Akullo denied knowledge of ‘second’ report before the MPs led by the committee chair Jenny Mugwanya.

“I also don’t know how the second report came about though I led the investigations into the case,” she said, adding that it was a direct case of indiscipline by her juniors.

Asked by Katuntu why she had earlier accused two detectives of indiscipline and absconding from duty yet she personally knew they were handling a special investigation, Akullo went silent.

This website recently published the scanned copy of a letter written and signed by Akullo herself introducing and supporting the submission of the second report.

The letter dated 31st November 2014 was sent by Akullo to the DPP Mike Chibita and copied to the First Deputy Prime Minister and also minister of Public Service, Henry Kajura and the IGP Kale Kayihura.

On October 31, CIID boss AIGP Grace Akullo, forwarded to the DPP a report titled “Alleged causing financial loss to the tune of shs165bn, abuse of office and conspiracy to defraud by the officials of Ministry of Public Service, Peter Ssajjabi and Cairo International Bank Vide CIID headquarters E/003/2013.”

In her letter, Akullo said “as you are aware, since 2012 CIID has been investigating the alleged financial mismanagement of pension funds. Questioned documents were forwarded to handwriting expert for forensic analysis and a report is still pending and shall be forwarded in due course. This is to forward a copy of the report for your information and further management of the case.”

When this report reached the office of Solicitor General, officials were shocked to realise that crucial evidence which had been tendered in an earlier report on the same case were missing.

“Upon reading the said report we realise that it departs in material respects from the earlier report prepared by police,” wrote J Atwine on behalf of the Solicitor General to Barbara Kawuma Bugembe, a senior State Attorney, Anti Corruption Court Section.

The first investigation report was disregarded by court after Cairo bank’s lawyer MacDusman Kabega said they were expecting a new report from CIID boss Grace Akullo.

This caused a delay from July to October 2014 that was then used to produce a new report by CIID.

On October 31, the ‘new report’ was signed by Akullo and on the same day, Tom Magezi, a lawyer from Kabega’s law firm which represents the bank, swore an affidavit claiming that he had “come across” a report by the Director CIID which he said “heavily impacted” on his application suing government.

“I deemed it vital and necessary as my duty to bring it to the court’s attention and hereby do so,” reads Magezi’s affidavit in part.

When this second report was tendered in court, Akullo did not withdraw it. The report had her known signatures not only on the cover letter but every page.

She would later defend the report through police spokesperson, Fred Enanga in an interview with ChimpReports, as “detailed” and “authentic.”

The Judge subsequently ruled in favour of the bank, quashing the DPP’s decision to prefer charges of theft and conspiracy to defraud the government shs165bn.

Kabiito also directed that the DPP should “stop preferring the intended charges and prosecuting CIB until matters raised in the application and the court’s determination therefore been attended to and a return made to the court.”

The case collapsed eventually, sparking off public outcry.

First investigation report:

It should be noted that the first report had overwhelming evidence which included a report by Bank of Uganda’s commercial bank supervision directorate.

In October 2012, Bank of Uganda discovered a number of “irregularities” in Cairo International Bank’s (CIB) “Know-Your-Customer procedures and operations of the various pension accounts coupled with weaknesses in suspicious transaction monitoring.”

According to a confidential report authored by the Central Bank’s Director of Supervision, Justine Bagyenda and copied to Deputy Governor, Louis Kasekende, the examiners reviewed a sample of beneficiaries’ accounts from a list of 1,012 pensioners which the bank had obtained from Police.

The examination revealed that the introduction letters to open accounts for all the pensioners said to be members of Eat African Community Beneficiaries Association (EACBA) were “singly signed” by Mr Peter Ssajjabi, the National Secretary for EACBA.

The review showed that “Ssajabi’s personal account (number 002433) as well as that of his private company, SWIFT Commercial Ltd (account number 001910) opened in May 2001 and August 2000 respectively did not have reference/introduction letters.”

The sampled account opening documents indicated that the beneficiaries who had been working with various government ministries and departments reside in locations which are spread out to nearly all the districts of Uganda.

The account opening statements of the said pensioners were filled and signed by customers in the field (outside the bank premises) and therefore customer thumb prints were not captured in the bank’s core banking system which is a key requirement for CIB.

BoU was astonished to learn that “CIB opened the various accounts for EACBA members and credited gratuity to their accounts before receipt of the account opening introductory letters.”

The investigation further revealed weaknesses in suspicious transactions monitoring.

For instance, the beneficiaries said to be located in various parts of the country most of whom are elderly people, signed vouchers consistently and withdrew the funds from their accounts in a lump sum either on the same day or a few days from the date the gratuity was credited to the accounts which necessitated further due diligence.

For example a sample of twenty pensioners on September 14, 2011, withdrew money in lump sum between Shs45m and Shs90m together totalling to Shs1.34bn physically from CIB premises.

Security are investigating reports that lawyer Tom Magezi sourced for a bribe of Shs1bn from Cairo International Bank to compromise Akullo and other detectives handling the case, not to mention staff in the DPP.

Akullo has since denied taking the bribe, saying she only heard that Shs1bn was given to a journalist to buy her a house.

Police in 2012 arrested Cairo International Bank’s bosses and Public Service Ministry officials for being part of a scheme where ghost pensioners were created and billions of shillings deposited on their accounts before being withdrawn by fraudsters.

The suspects included general manager operations, Muhammad Ahmad Tarek; his assistant, Ishaka Ssentongo and compliance officer, Rahmah Mugeere.

Others were Grace Beinomugisha (head of customer care); Ismail Kizito and Abbey Kaddu, the authorizing officer.

Principal Accountant in the Public Service Christopher Obey and Ssajjabi were reportedly the main architects of the fraud.

 

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