NAGRIC boss Dr Lagu, three others charged with fraud, remanded

The Executive Director of the National Animal Genetic Resource Centre and Data Bank (NAGRIC & DB), Dr Charles Lagu, and three others were on Wednesday, April 29, charged with several offences related to corruption and remanded.

Dr Lagu together with Philip Ezekiel Mukani, the procurement officer, Olivious Komujuni, Animal Husbandry officer, and the director of Nuruma Holdings Limited, Mr Emmanuel Kafute Rumanzi, appeared before Makindye Magistrate’s Court.

They were charged with abuse of office, obtaining money by false pretense, causing financial loss to government and conspiracy to defraud by Chief Magistrate Prossy Katushabe, which charges they denied.

Dr Lagu, Mr Mukani and Mr Rumanzi were remanded to Kitalya prison while Mr Komujuni was remanded to Kigo prison until May 5 for ruling on their bail application.

The state alleges that on October 15, 2018 at NAGRC in Entebbe, Wakiso District, Dr Lagu in abuse of the authority of his office did with an arbitrary act prejudicial to the interests of his employer to wit authorised call off order in favour Nuruma Holdings Limited for the supply and delivery of 1000 Kilogrammes and 600Kgs of Chloris Gayana to Nshara Ranch and Sanga Field Station respectively worth Shs54.4 million without request and confirmation of need from the said field farms.

It alleged that on January 8 2019, at NAGRC in Entebbe, Dr Lagu in abuse of office effected the payment of Shs51.1 million to Nuruma Holdings Limited for supply and delivery of 1000Kgs and 600Kgs of Chloris Gayana to Nshara Ranch and Sanga Field Station in disregard of procurement procedures. The state contends that the payment caused financial loss to government.

Prosecution alleges that on October 15, 2018 and December 2018 at NAGRC in Entebbe, Mukani abused his office when he irregularly initiated a procurement for supply of Chloris Gayana to Nshara Ranch and Sanga Field farm station.

It is alleged that on December 5 2018 at Ruhengeyere field Station in Kiruhura District, Komujuni being employed and assigned the duty of maintaining Chloris Gayana at Ruhengyere, abused the authority when he unlawfully released 1600kgs of Chloris Gayana to Nuruma Holdings Limited.

The group was arrested last week amid the ongoing investigations by the State House Anticorruption Unit and the Directorate Criminal Investigations of the Police in regard to alleged mismanagement of Shs18,060,824,701 in NAGRIC & DB under the watch of Dr Lagu.

The misappropriation of funds relates to fraudulent procurements that led to shoddy construction works at Kasolwe Stock Farm and Lusenke Stock Farm, fraudulent disposal of livestock worth Shs616,000,000, fraudulent procurement and supply of Chloris Gayana from one government farm to another and alleged fraud in the procurement of animal semen.

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