By our reporter
Senior lawyer Peter Mulira has vowed not to return to the Anti Corruption Court where his client Apollo Senkeeto is battling charges of corruption brought to him by the Inspectorate of Government (IGG) branding the court a place where donors are appeased instead of dispensing justice .
In a statement on December 18, Mr Mulira turned guns on the anti corruption, punching holes in its justice process.
“I have decided not to be part of that kind of thing and I shall not go back to the Anti-Corruption Court”, Mr Mulira wrote, explaining that he has raised concerns over the court’s jurisdiction to handle the Katosi road trial defendants, but his issues were brushed aside.
“I decided to apply to have a reference made to the constitutional court but the (anti corruption) court presumed itself to be the constitutional court and performed the role of that court when Its role is just to satisfy itself that the evidence for a reference exists.
“I cannot continue to sit there until my client is sent to prison for offenses he never committed,” Mulira, one of the most senior lawyers, opined.
On Monday December 8, Mr Mulira of Mulira and Co Advocates didn’t turn up for the hearing as expected and the hearing was rescheduled to next year.
Mulira however threw the spanner in the work, making a statement which brands the Anti Corruption Court procedure a miscarriage of justice
He said, “This court convicts people to impress donors that it is fighting corruption”.
Mr Mulira said that charges brought against Senkeeto, and his co-accused were “riddled with irregularities which would make the proceedings void in any court committed to the rule of law.” He explained that the case his client is accused of would be brought by the director of prosecutions who is not anywhere in the picture. Instead, the IGG and the court had conspired to knowingly harass innocent people.
Senkeeto is alongside former works minister James Byandala, and former UNRA bosses Eng Bernado Kimeze Sebbugga (former executive director) and Marvin Baryaruha (legal officer) being accused of causing government losses amounting to over UGX24 billion. The IGG alleges that Senkeeto’s company Eutaw which was mandated to tarmac Mukono-Katosi/Kisoga-Nyenga road was paid by UNRA irregularily. But Eutaw says they followed the process of notifying the UNRA in charges as per agreement that they would spend that money to mobilize the needed equipment and material to start on the road which also had a political schedule promised to the people of Mukono and Buikwe districts ahead of the 2016 general elections.
Eutaw also says the company finished works amounting to UGX32 billion which means Senkeeto’s company made losses since it injected its own cash to start road works.
“With all that evidence on record one fails to understand how the IGG could accuse Senkeeto of theft of Shs.24,790,843,522 which money was never at any time in his personal possession either directly or indirectly,” says lawyer Mulira, adding, “It is mind-boggling to see that a judge of the High Court rank can hold that Senkeeto has a ca se to answer for theft of money; a) Which was paid to Eutaw as per contract terms for mobilization. b) For which UNRA’s engineer confirmed in writing that the mobilization was done and c) the engineer’s report confirmed that Eutaw did not only complete mobilization but they were on to do work specified under the contract amounting to Shs.32,454,431,362.8”.