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Man ‘dies’ to avoid criminal charges, ‘resurrects’ to win MP seat and now wanted again

In 2006, Patrick Ocan was sued by a bank he previously worked with for embezzlement. To evade the law, he faked his death and the case was dropped. Now he has come out of 'retirement' to join politics and the bank is back on his trail

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NOT DEAD ENOUGH – A Ugandan bank has decided that its former employee who escaped criminal charges over embezzlement was just not dead enough as court was led to believe in 2006 and must face the law.

But what really happened? The bank insists the Apac Municipality MP-elect is the man who slipped their legal lair in 2006, but Uganda People’s Congress president Jimmy Akena is adamant it is all witch-hunt.

As the allegations swept across social media, there were also claims that the MP-elect is just on name as the bona fide holder of the body and academic documents died in 2006. This camp of allegation believes Ocan used academic papers belonging to the dead Patrick Ocan.

Speaking to Crime24 on Sunday, the Ocan, who did not deny the allegations, said he had not been contacted by the Police over the matter.

“It is true I saw the letter which is simply politics propagated by my opponents and was aimed at failing me. The letter has been circulating all over the town but police have never approached me or called me over the matter when the letter was authored,” Ocan said on phone

Ocan’s political godfather Jimmy Akena rubbished the allegations. Akena, a son of President Milton Obote, endorsed Ocan against his own brother for the Apac Municipality seat.

The case

In 2006, a court in the capital Kampala was compelled to prematurely close a case Centenary Bank had filed against Patrick Ocan after the former banking officer could not be traced with claims that he was dead.

With Buganda Road Court being presented with a death certificate of Ocan and lawyers shown his supposed resting place, the magistrate had no option but to drop the case.

But 12 years later, it has turned out that dead Ocan was not dead enough after he joined politics and went on to win a hotly contested Apac Municipality parliamentary seat.

Unfortunately for Ocan, his former employers have not forgotten his alleged embezzlement and have sprung into action with a request to Buganda Road Court chief magistrate to reopen the case against the MP-elect.

While employed with Centenary Bank, Ocan was implicated in embezzlement of Shs25 million in March 2006 as he was working as a banking officer.

However, as the bank moved to have him sanctioned, he was allegedly announced dead in 2006 and a death certificate issued. A burial ceremony was also allegedly organised and the grave in which he is supposed to have been buried lies in Apac.

But hearing that Ocan was back to life and contesting an MP race, Centenary Bank investigations manager Henry Ssenkeezi wrote to the Director CIID Grace Akullo requesting for urgent transfer of the case that collapsed in 2006 after ‘Ochan’s death.’

“On behalf of Centenary Bank, we request to open police case at CID headquarters Economic Crime and Financial Intelligence Unit against Patrick Ocan, our former staff (bank officer) at Nakivubo branch who embezzled bank money to the tune of Shs25 million between March 18 and 20, 2006,” the letter reads in part.

Ssenkeezi confirmed the contents of the letter when contacted on phone and said that Ocan mysteriously disappeared being granted bail.

“It is true Ocan faked his death after jumping the bail. The court dismissed the case after three mentions without him showing up with convincing reports that he was dead,” he told Crime24.

Ssenkeezi also wrote to Buganda Road Court chief magistrate asking that case number 510 of 2006 against Ocan be reinstated.

“Buganda Road Court sanctioned charges against the accused in November 2006 but dropped the case on November 27, 2006, because the accused could not be traced,” Ssenkeezi wrote.

“We have since traced the accused and located his whereabouts and, therefore, request for the case to be reinstated and a new warrant of arrest issued to allow the prosecution to proceed with the case.”

But UPC president Jimmy Akena told Jens Mukiibi  by telephone that the development is “propaganda meant to tarnish Ocan’s image.”

“That is total propaganda. Where have they been since 2006? It’s a pure propaganda aimed at disorganising Ocan,” he said.

According to vernacular newspaper Rupiny, Centenary Bank restrained from arresting Ochan immediately fearing such would get him a sympathy vote and incite the Langi people against the bank brand.

This article was originally published erroneously with a featured image of Bishop Edward Stanley Engena Maitum. We regret the error.

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