The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament has summoned heads of key government entities to iron out controversies surrounding the 165billion Shillings pension scam trial.
Those summoned include; Inspector General of Police -Kale Kayihura, the Director of police Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate (CIID) – Grace Akullo, the Inspector General of Government, Irene Mulyagonja and the Director of Public Prosecutions-Mike Chibita.
The development comes in the wake of reports that CIID messed up the case by submitting two contradicting investigation reports to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) causing slip-ups in the trial where nine suspects were charged with masterminding the plunder of at least 165billion Shillings belonging to pensioners.
As a result the case was dismissed by Sarah Langa, the Chief Magistrate of the Anti-Corruption Court on ground that prosecution had failed to produce a single witness to testify against the suspects.
The suspects had been on trial for over two years.
They Include; Jimmy Lwamafa, the Interdicted Permanent Secretary of Public Service Ministry, former Principal Accountant Christopher Obey, Steven Kunsa Kiwanuka, the former Director for Research, David Japins Oloka, the former Senior Accounts Assistant and Francis Lubega, the former Information System Analyst among others.
Yesterday, the Director of CIID- Grace Akullo is reported to have stated that detectives handling the pension scam took bribes and caused the breakdown of the case, a statement which could have triggered the reaction of the committee.
She cited a journalist who was given Shs 1bn to build for her a house and give her the rest of the money so she could keep a blind eye to the scammers.
But DPP Mike Chibita said that they are appealing against an earlier decision of the court which stopped the prosecution of Cairo International Bank and its General Manager in connection with the scandal.
Chibita said the case will be reopened as soon as a ruling is made on the matter.
“So we are doing a multi-pronged attack on this case because we are being pulled and pushed in all directions by the people we are prosecuting. So we are going to do all that is possible to appeal against that injunction and then reinstate and then proceed with it”, Chibita said.
Chibita also cited some isolated cases of conflict between Police CIID and the DPP over some high profile cases but indicated that a DPP, CID coordination committee was set up where they meet at top level and share experiences and challenges.
Last week, the Inspector General of Government (IGG), Irene Mulyagonja told the same committee that the pension scam trial hit a dead end because of a possible conflict between the Inspectorate of Government and Police.
The Shadow Attorney General, Abdu Katuntu said such occurrences threaten public trust in government entities.
“We know all officers that were involved in this case, but for two years the case has not been finalized, the longer a case takes to prosecute, the more problematic it becomes because you need witnesses who should have fresh memory….”, said Katuntu.