Yumbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The former Yumbe District Police Commander, Geoffrey Leo Ogwok has himself a five-year jail term for embezzling Shillings 6million meant for allowances of security guards.
The Principal Grade One Magistrate of the Anti Corruption Court, Moses Nabende handed Ogwok the five-year sentence after finding him guilty of false accounting, embezzlement and abuse of office.
He reportedly committed the offences between February 2012 and May 2014, as Yumbe DPC where he was charged with the management of Shillings 6 million for the payment of allowances for security guards manning security at the Electoral Commission offices.
Ogwok used to receive the money from the Commission through Mwavu Wasede Mwosha, the then registrar of Electoral Commission Yumbe district and was expected to file accountability. He presented forged accountabilities as some of the beneficiaries complained of non-receipt of their allowances.
In his ruling, Nabende noted there was evidence that Ogwok forged the signatures of the beneficiaries of the allowances and put their names on spreadsheet when they had not benefited as per the evidence of the handwriting expert, which he has relied upon.
The beneficiaries were James Okumu, Christopher Yada, Agnes Eyotaro, Mariam Tayanga, Risal Night, Chandiru Afisa, Aluramiru Angware and Gifit Zulika. The court also relied on the evidence from one of the health workers at Yumbe police station, Alex Guma whose name appeared on the list of the beneficiaries yet he was never on guard duties therefore not entitled to the said allowances.
“But as highlighted in his self-recorded interview statement, he admitted having signed against the names of the guard officers. It is my finding that the actions of not paying the allowances to the beneficiaries, uttering false accountabilities and subsequent acts of falsification of signatures amount to an abuse of office and the power that was vested in him,” said Nabende.
Adding that “it is proved that the accused person had the authority due to the office he held as the DPC and after agreeing with PW1/ Mwavu, he had the authority to receive allowances from EC and distribute the same to the police officers who performed their duties. He did contrary by furnishing false accountability which act was prejudicial to the interest of his employer and government of Uganda”.
Nabende has written to the Superintendent of Kitalya prison to receive Ogwok in his custody to serve his five-year term. He has also ordered Ogwok to refund the six million Shillings to the beneficiaries and barred him from holding a public office for ten years.