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Interdicted Gaming Board executive director sues Ofwono Opondo for defamation

FILE PHOTO: Ofwono Opondo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  | The interdicted Chief Executive Officer of Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board, Edgar Gerald Agaba has dragged the Government Spokesperson Ofwono Opondo to court for defamation.

Agaba in his suit before the High Court Civil Division in Kampala is accusing Opondo for uttering defamatory statements against him while addressing journalists at Media Centre on October 23rd, 2019.

Opondo reportedly said that despite being interdicted by the Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, he continued to hold the office as the Chief Executive Officer of Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board.

Through his lawyers of Davis Wesley and Company Advocates, Agaba states that the said defamatory statements was aired on Sanyu FM, a local radio station and the same was published in the Government newspaper, New Vision.

According to Agaba’s lawyers, any right-thinking person would think that the statement by Ofwono Opondo meant that their client is impersonating the Director of Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board or holds out as the same which is false.

“By the words uttered by the Defendant(Opondo) on the aforementioned occasions are not only false but also appear to be motivated by ill motives completely outside known official government communications”, reads the document in part.

On October 28, Agaba, through his lawyers served Opondo with an intention to sue in which they demanded him to make a public apology for his statements and also pay him a compensation of shillings 200 million in seven days for damages caused to him.

Opondo, however, failed to comply prompting a civil suit against him where Agaba is seeking a retraction of the statement, permanent injunction stopping Opondo from making defamatory statements against him. Agaba also seeks court to compel Opondo to pay him general damages for inconveniences caused to him.

On July 4th, Agaba was arraigned before the Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Pamela Lamunu together with John Patrick Kazoora the Manager in Charge of Finance Administration for embezzling more than 700 million shillings.

The prosecution alleges that Agaba and Kazoora and others still at large between October 17th, 2018 and February 14th, 2019 at their offices in Kampala stole 710 million shillings by the virtue of the offices they held.

The duo reportedly approved and forwarded requisition documents of shillings 470 million to the Ministry of Finance purporting the same to be paid for Hotel Services. The services were reportedly rendered during the sensitization of Kampala Central Division technical staff for four days yet the same had been conducted for only one day. In the circumstances government reportedly lost 352 million shillings.

Also,  it is alleged that they caused another loss to the government when they requested for 480 million shillings to sensitize Boda Boda riders from Kawempe Division for four days but only did it once and shillings 360 million was stolen.

They have since denied the charges and been interdicted by Minister of Finance and Economic Development Matia Kasaija on July 19th, 2019.

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