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Lira district land board secretary arrested smuggling hundreds of land documents

Lira district land documents packed inside Francis Okello Olwa’s car. URN photo

Lira, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Police have arrested the acting secretary Lira district land board secretary over allegations of smuggling land related documents and files.

Francis Okello Olwa who is also the Community Development Officer, clerk to council, district’s spokesperson and a senior Pastor at Truth Fountain Church Lira was arrested at around 11pm on Thursday night from the district chambers where he had packed hundreds of documents in every space inside his personal car, ready to move to an unknown destination.

He is being detained at Lira Central Police Station while his car is being guarded at the district chambers, a few meters away from the CPS.

Jimmy Patrick Okema, the North Kyoga Police Spokesperson however could not identify the suspect saying a district staff was arrested last night and he is yet to get more details.

In recent years, there have been growing concerns over the sale of public land to individuals. Some of the grabbed plots in question include the mayor’s gardens, land in Ireda Housing Estate, UMA ground which is currently hosting a tipper lorries stage and land housing the city abattoir among others.

Some district officials and politicians have been accused of conniving with officials from the regional land offices located in Lira city to sell off public lands to businessmen and Okello’s action is suspected to be an attempt at concealing the details of these dubious acts.

Lawrence Egole, the Lira Resident City Commissioner confirmed the arrest saying the suspect was arrested with several documents but his motive is not yet unknown.

According to Egole, security have increased intelligence surveillance after receiving several reports of corruption and misuse of land related documents.

Since the creation of Lira city in 2020, both the district and city have been embroiled in disputes over land boundaries with the city authorities accusing the district officials of selling public lands within the city boundaries.



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