By Our Reporter
Two prominent businessmen in Lira City have been sent to Luzira Prisons on remand for allegedly conspiring to illegally procure land belonging to National Forestry Authority for Commercial purposes.
Okello Lawrence and Okwiri Joel were arraigned before the Chief Magistrates Court in Lira on charges of Fraudulent Procurement of Certificate of Title, Conspiracy to Commit a Felony, Altering boundary marks and occupying a forest reserve for commercial purposes on Thursday.
The duo was arrested by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit on Wednesday, 7th December, 2023.
Prosecution alleges that Okwiri while being the Chairperson of the Railways Division Area land committee forged signatures of the other members of the Committee and processed a title on the Lira Central Forest Reserve.
They pleaded not guilty to all counts and asked for bail which however, couldn’t be granted since the Chief Magistrate was out of office.
He immediately transferred the same into the names of Okello Lawrence who alleges to have paid him money. With impunity, Okello cut down part of the forest reserve and poured Murram to drain it to put a Petrol station.
The Ministry of Water and Environment officials notified Okello of the fact that he was on the Forest reserve and tried to stop him from constructing a Petrol station thereon, but he overpowered them due to the backing of some politicians and money.
The pair was remanded by Senior Principal Magistrate Grade One, Jane Tibagonzeka who remanded them to Lira Main Prison till 19th December, 2023.