Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Details have emerged as to why the Inspector General of Police-IGP, Martin Okoth Ochola recently appointed a committee to conduct a comprehensive audit in the affairs of the Logistics and Engineering Directorate.
On Friday last week, Ochola named a five member committee led by Senior Superintendent of Police –SSP, Denis Okuja to audit the expenditure and asses the hand over report of all outgoing and retiring officers in the directorate.
According to sources at the Naguru based police headquarters, Ochola appointed the committee to establish possible loopholes in in the handover report of Assistant Inspector General of Police- AIGP, Godfrey Bangirana, the former Director of Logistics and Engineering Directorate.
Bangirana was forced from office by High court after the expiry of contract following an application by a concerned citizen. Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga, denies claims that the committee is targeting Bangirana, saying its role is to verify logistics stock and asses the hand over reports by different heads of departments.
This isn’t the first time Ochola is ordering for Bangirana’s audit. In 2016, Ochola ordered for Bangirana’s audit in his capacity as Deputy Inspector General of Police. However, his efforts were reportedly frustrated by the former IGP, Gen Edward Kayihura.
In September 2016, while officiating at the ground breaking for the construction of 1020 police housing units, Kayihura publically accused Bangirana of inflating the construction costs and declined to read the budget in the presence of the Internal Affairs State Minister, Mario Obiga Kania.
Bangirana has been in the news ever since Ochola took over from Kayihura in March 2018. Several people petitioned the Inspectorate of Government to probe inflated costs for among other police projects the construction of state of the art Nateete police station.
In July this year, Ochola ordered Bangirana to vacate office in vain, saying he was waiting for response from the Police Authority chaired by Internal Affairs Minister, Gen Jeje Odongo to renew his contract. This prompted Isaac Maddo, a member of Uganda Young Democrats –UYD to drag him to court on grounds that he was illegally holding the office.
On November 18th, 2019, Justice Henrietta Wolayo ordered Bangirana to vacate office with immediate effect. The order found Bangirana attending the 25th Police Council meeting and it was the last time he appeared in public.
He handed over office to his deputy Senior Commissioner Richard Edyegu on November 28th before President Yoweri Kaguta arrived to commission the national command center. Other accusations against Bangirana early this year, media reports indicated that the Logistics Directorate had with full knowledge of Bangirana allowed senior officers to personalize vehicles purchased using police funds.
It came after a whistle blower notified Ochola that a number of police vehicles were personalized by senior officers to do their private work. They include UAX 788L that is registered in the name of AIGP, Lemmy Musa Twinomugisha, UAX 831N recorded in the name of Rogers Muhirwa, the Police undersecretary and UAX 032E registered under SSP, Stephen Ibanda.
Others are UAX 067X that is registered in the name of Joseph Nuwagaba, UAX 258V registered in the name of Lydia Kisembo Ssozi, UAX 960E registered in the name of Isaac Kyaligonza and UAX 019J that is owned by James Apora. Ochola ordered Grace Akullo, the Director Criminal Investigations Directorate to recover all the cars, which she did in June this year.
It is alleged some police officers decided to resign after seeing what was happening to Bangirana. However, their requests are pending the conclusion of the audit.