By Alfred Ochwo and Charles Etukuri
Members of the public were Saturday, April 15, barred from entering Kira Division Police Station in Wakiso district, where finance state minister for planning Amos Lugoloobi remains detained following his arrest on Friday over the iron sheets scandal.
Police on Friday evening confirmed they had arrested Lugoloobi, saying he was detained at Kira.
This was after the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) sanctioned charges against him, said Police spokesperson Fred Enanga.
Lugoloobi, who is also the Ntenjeru North MP, is being detained pending a court appearance on Monday.
He is one of the ministers who appeared on the list of people that reportedly received the iron sheets meant for the people of Karamoja sub-region in Uganda’s northeast.
On Saturday, New Vision‘s Alfred Ochwo went to Kira Division Police Station to check out what was happening there.
He said members of the public were denied access to the station and were being turned away from the gate.
The Police officers manning the gate, Ochwo reported, said they had received instructions from the district Police commander not grant anyone access into the station.
Without offering specifics, the Police officers said that “there is a sensitive matter being handled at the station” and that “if you have a case, go to other nearby Police stations and file or come later”.
📸Take a look at the on-the-scene pictures 👇🏽
Lugoloobi is said to have received 600 G28 corrugated pre-painted iron sheets meant for Karamoja in a scandal that has rocked the nation.
Earlier, in February, he told New Vision that he had used some of the iron sheets received from the Office of the Prime Minister to roof an animal shed at his farm in Misanga village, Bbale sub-county, Kayunga district.
He later removed the roofing.
Lugoolobi is the second minister to be arrested over the iron sheets scandal.
His arrest on Friday happened the same day fellow minister Mary Goretti Kitutu (for Karamoja affairs) was granted bail by the Anti-Corruption Court after spending eight days in prison.
Kitutu was also detained at Kira Division Police Station last week, before she was arraigned in court on charges of corruption.
Related: Minister Kitutu granted bail in iron sheets case
The 61-year-old politician, who is also the Manafwa district Woman MP, is accused of diverting iron sheets meant for the people of Karamoja.
After declining to have the minister released mid-this week over unsubstantial sureties, Chief Magistrate Joan Aciro on Friday granted Kitutu bail after she presented a fresh set of sureties, this time deemed substantial.
Her brother Michael Naboya Kitutu, accused of receiving stolen property according to the charge sheet, was also granted bail after his two sureties were found to be substantial.
Kitutu is battling charges of loss of public property, contrary to Section 10 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2009 and conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Section 309 of the Penal Code Act.
She denied the offences, which elicits a 10-year jail term on conviction.
The embattled minister is facing the charges alongside her personal assistant Joshua Abaho, who is accused of corruption and has yet to appear in court.
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Iron sheets scandal: Minister Kitutu regains freedom