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No goodnight sleep for Byandala after IGG appeals acquittal

Former Works minister Abraham Byandala was acquitted of abuse of office and corruption charges in respect to the bungled Mukono-Katosi road scam but the IGG that prosecuted the case has appealed Judge Lawrence Gidudu's decision

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CORRUPTION | The Inspectorate of Government (IGG) is not yet done with Abraham Byandala despite the acquittal of the former Works minister of abuse of office and corruption charges.

A fortnight ago, the Anti-Corruption Court absolved Byandala of any wrong doing in respect of the botched Mukono-Katosi road contract, but the IGG, the prosecutors in the case, has filed a notice of appeal to challenge the acquittal.

Justice Lawrence Gidudu, who heads the High Court’s Ant Corruption division, last month set Byandala, the former UNRA acting executive director Eng Berunado Ssebbugga Kimeze, Marvin Baryaruha(former UNRA legal counsel) and Isaac Mugote, a former staffer at Housing Finance
Bank free grounds citing multiple weakness with the investigations the IGG had done and also failure by the same office to comprehend numerous laws before charging the suspects.

However, a brief notice of appeal lodged at the Court of Appeal, the ombudsman says she is dissatisfied with the decision of Justice Gidudu to clear the four people of charges related to abuse of office, causing financial loss and disobeying her lawful orders.

Though the IGG had accused Byandala of ordering Unra to sign a contract with Eutaw, a company which was subject to due diligence, Judge Gidudu didn’t agree in his judgment. He instead agreed with
Byandala that the Unra Act empowered him as minister of roads at the time to give such orders.

Another finding by Judge Gidudu that shocked the IGG’s legal team was that all the seven accused persons were innocent when it came to charge of causing financial loss.

The judge faulted the IGG Irene Mulyagonja for failing to carry out an engineering audit of the works that he been done and what hadn’t been done which would have aided her to tabulate the real loss.

The IGG found it bizarre and she has appealed it, sparing not even those who were convicted and handed jailed terms by Justice Gidudu.

Apolo Senkeeto who presented himself as country representative of Eutaw incorporated in Florid and was given ten years in prison, Joe Ssemugooma Unra regional accountant is now serving fives in jail and Wilberforce Senjako, former UNRA regional accountant also serving five years, according to the IGG got off lightly.

The IGG insists that Justice Gidudu’s sentences were “too lenient to meet the ends of justice.”

Convicted duo appeal

The IGG is not the only interested party appealing. Senkeeto and Ssemugooma have already challenged Gidudu’s verdicts at the Court of Appeal.

In their, notices of appeal, filed separately, they both want the court to set them free on grounds the justice Gidudu’s finding were “unfair.”

It’s also expected that Senjako, whose lawyer frankly told Judge Gidudu that he never anticipated that he will go to jail, will also appeal both his sentence and conviction soon.

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