Two URA employees collected Sh800 million bribe to go to pre-trial

Two URA employees collected Sh800 million bribe to go to pre-trial

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The process leading up to a case in which two employees of the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) are accused of soliciting a bribe worth Sh800 million from a taxpayer, starts June 4, 2024.

The Nakasero-based Anti-Corruption Court, presided over by Chief Magistrate Joan Aciro, on April 18, 2024, set the pre-hearing of a case involving Caroline Naggoli and Benedict Sekaayi.

A pretrial is a hearing before the main trial in which all parties involved agree on issues of law and fact. in in addition to agree about the documents on which it will be based during the trial once the investigations are concluded.

Magistrate Aciro settled the case after the prosecution team, led by URA legal team Hildah Atusimiire and Stella Nayebare, informed the court that investigations into the case were complete and the state was ready to present evidence against the accused .

The prosecution is required to reveal all the documents on which they will rely during the trial to the defending lawyers.

The prosecution’s case

The charges against Naggoli and Sekaayi include offenses of corruption and abuse of power, as described in sections 2 (a), 26 and 11 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Law of 2009, as amended. If convicted, the offense of corruption carries a penalty of up to 10 years’ imprisonment, while abuse of power may carry a penalty of seven years’ imprisonment or a fine not exceeding 1.3 shillings. million, or both.

According to the prosecution on March 30, 2023, at the Guanghua Hotel in Kololo, Kampala Naggoli and Sekaayi, in the performance of his duties as a supervisor and URA official respectively, they requested a bribe of Sh800 million from Tong Jiao to reduce the tax liability from Sh4.1 billion to Sh2.2 billion.

Furthermore, the prosecution alleges that Naggoli and Sekaayi abused their positions at URA by allegedly demanding a bribe from Tong Jiao to reduce the tax liability owed by Migoo and Trading Company Ltd. This allegation was said to have been detrimental to the interests of URA. Both accused have pleaded not guilty to the charges and they are out on bail.