Two officers working with Bank of Uganda (BOU) and attached to the former BOU Executive Director for Bank Supervision, Justine Bagyenda have been handed over to the Parliament Police CID department as criminal suspects.
The decision was taken Thursday by the Parliament Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) following a subcommittee report which indicated that the two officers were inconsistent in their response to allegations against them in regard to smuggling documents from the Bank.
The two officers that were handed to Police include Bagyenda’s bodyguard, Juliet Adikoret and driver, Job Turyahabwe.
According to the subcommittee report read by the head, Brig. Francis Takirwa, during the interrogation, the officers responded that they indeed took bags out of the bank but that they didn’t have any knowledge of the contents therein.
“Adikolet, the body guard was the first person to appear on CCTV and later on Job. The two told us they didn’t know what they were carrying,” Takirwa told the committee on Thursday.
Takirwa added that Adikolet said that despite carrying a plastic polythene bag which was open, she couldn’t tell what she was carrying and that she never bothered to look into the polythene bag since she was more concerned with the security of her boss.
Takirwa further reported to the committee that the security officers who were on duty at the check points on the day the documents were smuggled out were identified as Charles Omoro and Beatrice Kyambadde. Both of them admitted having allowed Job and Adikolet to pass the checkpoint with neither registration as procedure requires nor getting checked.
On that day, March 14, 2018, Adikolet reportedly carried a red bag while Job carried a black bag from the vehicle to office but they maintain they didn’t know what they were carrying.
“As Bagyenda was leaving, the two bags were carried out by the officers most likely being offloaded since they didn’t look heavy anymore,” Takirwa reported.
“Omoro watched as they entered without being checked. The emergency door which was always closed was already opened for them upon arrival.”
“We see a lot of negligence on part of security officers who knew what to do and didn’t do it. Their input didn’t yield much because none of them knew what they were carrying,” Takirwa explained.
The findings by the subcommittee did not please members on the committee who ordered the officers in question to explain why they lied to the committee yet they were on oath.
Subsequently, the Committee Chairperson, Abdul Katuntu handed over the four officers to the Police Criminal Investigation department as criminal suspects.
“We hand them over for purposes of criminal investigation and we shall need a report every week,” Katuntu ruled.
Yesterday, when she first appeared before the committee, Juliet Adikot was hesitant to take oath claiming she could not say anything in absence of her boss, Bagyenda who is currently reported to be in the U.S.
She told the committee that she had been barred from saying anything or even taking oath without being authorized by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) according to the Police Standing Orders.
However, she later subdued after the committee chairperson insisted that the committee derived its powers from the constitution which is supreme over the Police Standing Orders.