By Markson Omagor
That morning was weather-wise a normal one but to me there was something I could not tell but it was there. It was a Monday morning 12th of January 2010, three years after the Inspectorate of Government started investigating me on allegations of irregular salary arrears paid to staff members in my place of work.
I was being investigated because I was the Personnel Officer directly responsible for the pay roll.
Three years since the investigations started, I had come to a conclusion that after all, the IGG had lost interest in the case. I had then developed lofty plans to grow my career.
So that Monday morning, I went to office as usual and found a long queue of staff that required my services. I attended to most of them and by the time I was through, (it was nearly 11:00 AM), there were three more guests that needed my attention and they were seated in the waiting bench outside my office. I did not recognize them.
I got out of office and went to the washrooms to ease myself and they were patiently seated, waiting. Amongst them was a beautiful woman who caught my attention for obvious reasons. So as I came back from the washrooms, my plan was to attend to her first before I went out for breakfast- this was not to be.
Immediately I re- entered the office, the trio came in at once. I still did not suspect anything.
“How can I help you?” I inquired of the trio of course a little pompously. I mean that was my office.
A gentleman I later realized was the commanding police detective from the office of the IGG flashed his Identification Tag.
“We are from the office of the IGG and my name is Oriono …..”
I think he mentioned his Christian name and introduced the other two colleagues of his including the beauty who had sent my erotic side of the brain into a spin, but my hearing senses were distorted by the fast heartbeat.
I swallowed hard and tried to steady my trembling. I knew I had been sacrificed after all.
“Are you aware that you have been under investigation by the office of the IGG for abuse of office and causing financial loss to government?”
“Yes,” I replied, hardly audibly since my throat had gone on a dangerously saliva spending spree.
“Well. We are here to arrest you. You can organize yourself in twenty minutes. We are waiting for you outside office.”
That did it. I broke into a sweat, confused and not knowing the next best action to take. Of course I could not run away even I wanted. They were seated right outside my office – the only exit since my windows were heavily burglar proofed.
“Maria,” I called out to my secretary who sat at the reception area of the office. She came in unaware of what was transpiring.
“Am under arrest by the IGG,” I started but stopped immediately I realized she was at a loss.
“Do not panic and don’t let people around here know because am going to move out with the police detectives into their car without making a fuss. Here is Shs2m, take it to my wife and tell her of the arrest.”
Maria did as I told her, then I came out and the detectives followed me into their waiting double cabin pick-up. We drove out of the office premises with very few people knowing that I had been arrested. I was driven straight to the regional IGG offices in Mbale from where I was ordered to make a statement.
Realizing that there was no need any more to massage the IGG officers; I flatly refused to record any statement without the presence of my Counsel. Well they respected that and allowed me to call my Counsel who arrived shortly after 4:00PM from Busia.
My counsel then advised me to deny everything and he meant everything thrown at me by way of allegations – even what to I had earlier accepted during the investigations.
And so I did.
Later that evening at 6:00PM, I was driven by the same team to the Central Police Station where I was handed over to the Officer In Charge Station.
The officer who was a young cadet graduate was told to keep me well since I was not a common criminal till the following day when they would come back for me.
The First Taste Of Police Cell
To be continued on Friday 12th June, 2020. Do not miss, the pain, the fun, the discoveries…