The Inspector General of Government (IGG) Irene Mulyagonja has appealed against the acquittal of Patricia Ojangole, the Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Development Bank Ltd (UDBL) who was facing charges of conflict of interest.
The IGG appealed against Ojangole’s acquittal last evening before the Court of Appeal.
The Ombudsman states in her appeal that she is dissatisfied with the whole judgment of the Anti Corruption Court that was delivered on Monday.
Yesterday, Justice Lawrence Gidudu acquitted Ojangole of the charges of conflict of interest on grounds that the prosecution failed to prove the charges beyond reasonable doubt and that the prosecution evidence instead supported her, hence her acquittal.
“Take notice that the inspectorate of government being dissatisfied with the judgment of his lordship Lawrence Gidudu, sitting as trial judge at the Anti Corruption Court delivered on June 30 2014, whereby he acquitted the respondent (Ms Ojangole) on the charges of conflict of interest, hereby appeals against the whole acquittal,” reads in part the notice of appeal by the IGG before Court of Appeal
The IGG further states that she will file the memorandum of appeal upon being availed with the typed records of proceedings and judgment.
It was the prosecution’s case that Ojangole participated in various processes and proceedings that culminated in her appointment to the position of CEO of the bank on November, 30, 2012, when she signed the employment contract but knowingly failed to disclose the nature of this interest to the board.
Sydney Asubo who represented the IGG unsuccessfully argued that Ojangole should have written to the board to disclose her interest and that disclosure was mandatory.
But the judge in his judgement yesterday observed that Ojangole and the board knew that there were vacant positions in the bank which were to be filed through an open competition and that the staff of UDBL including the accused Ojangole were going to apply, hence she did not have to inform them as suggested by the IGG.
High Court in Monday’s judgment noted that there was no interest that Ojangole would have disclosed to the bank’s board since it was the board that encouraged her and other staff to apply for the existing jobs in the bank after the old management had been fired over mismanagement.
The judge explained that it would have been an offense if the board was not aware that Ojangole had not applied for the CEO job and she ended up gaining from her non-disclosure, which the judge said was not the case as the board was aware of her intentions to apply.
The Court of Appeal will at an appropriate time sit and hear the IGG’s appeal and determine whether to maintain her acquittal of fault the trial judge and convict and send her to jail.