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Iron sheets scandal: Nandutu loses bid to block trial

by Editorial Team
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By Michael Odeng and Farooq Kasule

Karamoja affairs state minister Agnes Nandutu has lost a bid to block her trial at the Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala.

This, after the court presided over by Lady Justice Jane Okuo Kajuga, declined to refer her matter to the Constitutional Court for interpretation.

Through her lawyers led by Caleb Alaka, Nandutu, the Bududa district Woman MP, wanted her trial halted pending the determination of a petition she filed at the Constitutional Court on May 24, 2023.

However, the judge said there was nothing for interpretation and that there is no temporary injunction from the Constitutional Court halting Nandutu’s trial at the Anti-Corruption Court.

 “I decline to refer the matter to the Constitutional Court for interpretation because, on the face of it, I do not see any matter for Constitutional interpretation,” Kajuga ruled on Monday, May 29. 

She subsequently adjourned the matter to June 8, for trial. In a petition filed at the Constitutional Court recently, Nandutu argues that the acts of the Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions, in preferring charges against her over dealing with suspect property, contrary to section 21A (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2009 (as amended) contravenes Articles 20, 21 (1), 28 (1), 3 (a) and 44 (c) of the Constitution.

The prosecution alleges that Nandutu between the month of June and July 2022, at the Office of the Prime Minister’s (OPM) stores in Namanve, and in Kkola Cell, Bulwanyi Parish, Mukono district, dealt with 2000 pre-painted iron sheets of gauge 28 marked “Office of the Prime Minister”, by receiving and holding the items, which she had reason to believe were acquired as a result of loss of public property, an offence under Section 10 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2009.

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