In Arua, Uganda, five government workers spent a night in police cells because they are accused of causing a financial loss of nearly 99 million Shillings. The people in question are Israel Echoku, who works as the Principal Human Resource Officer in Arua district, Natal Opima, a senior Accounts Assistant, and three retired Headteachers named Jackson Abidrabo, Mike Mulander Oliver, and Samuel Acidri Darlington.
On Wednesday afternoon, officials from the Inspectorate of Government (IG) arrested these suspects for making improper payments of gratuity totaling more than 99 million Shillings. The IG released a statement on their official account, saying that these individuals went against the law, specifically Section 20 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act from 2009, and that this caused a financial loss to the government of Uganda of more than 99 million Shillings.
The statement from the IG said, “IG has today arrested five officials of Arua DLG for allegedly causing a financial loss of UGX 99M to the government, contrary to Section 20 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2009. They include Mr. Israel Echoku, Principal Human Resource Officer in Arua district, and Mr. Opima Natal, Senior Accounts Assistant. Others are retired head teachers, Mr. Mike Mulander Oliver, Mr. Abidrabo Jackson, and Mr. Samuel Acidri Darlington. They will appear before the court of law to face charges determined by the court. The individuals to whom double gratuity was irregularly paid were retired head teachers who are currently pensioners.”
Alfred Okuonzi, the Arua LC 5 chairperson, confirmed that the suspects are currently at the Arua police station while investigations continue. According to Okuonzi, the irregularities occurred before he assumed office.
These irregularities happened between July 2019 and June 2020, according to information from the Office of the Inspectorate of Government. A source at the Office of the IG told URN that the suspects are likely to be transferred to Kampala, where they will appear before the anti-corruption court and face charges accordingly.