June 18, 2024

Court dismisses fraud case against 2 Lira City businessmen


By Voice of Lango Editorial (editor@vol.co.ug)

Lira City

Lira Chief Magistrate Court has dismissed a case in which two Lira City based businessmen Lawrence Okello and Joel Okwir were accused of fraudulent acquisition of title of National Forestry Authority land.

In December 2023, the State House anti-corruption unit launched a probe and arrested Okello, the proprietor of Oil Energy and Okwir, the former area land committee Chairperson of Railways Division over illegal possession of the land which belongs to NFA in Railways Quarters, Lira City.

Okello and Okwir appeared before the senior Principal Magistrate Grade One, Jane Tibagonzeka and were remanded on five charges including; irregular registration of land, contrary to section 190 of the registration of Tittles Act Cap 230, alternation of boundaries of a government forest reserve and construction of a petrol station in a forest reserve.

According to prosecution the offences were committed by the duo around April 2018 to July 2020 on plot 4A, station Road, Railways Quarters A cell and the land was allegedly registered in the names of Mark Aliro, the son to Joel Okwir.

Okello and Okwir denied all the charges levied against them which they said were engineered propaganda meant to tarnish their well-built reputation.

On the 31st of May 2024, Lira Chief Magistrate Adoko Joe Fay dismissed the case over want of prosecution under section 119 of the Magistrates Court Act.

The trial Chief Magistrate also ordered that the bail money of the accused be refunded.

Counsel Winnie Anyango of Abwang Otim and Comanay advocates who is the defendants Counsel opined that the prosecution did not table before court prima facie evidence, leading to dismissal of the case.

She said her clients are now free to go about their normal business.

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