DPP appeals against acquittal of group accused of forging titles on NSSF land in Lubowa

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DPP appeals against acquittal of group accused of forging titles on NSSF land in Lubowa
Some of the accused in court before acquittal.

The Director of Public Prosecutions(DPP) has appealed against the acquittal of of five people who were being accused of forging a land title to steal National Social Security Fund(NSSF) land in Lubowa have been acquitted of the charges.

According to the notice of appeal, the DPP says she is not satisfied with the decision of Makindye grade one magistrate, Elisha Arinaitwe .

The magistrates court in Makindye last week acquitted Muhammad Kityo Lubowa, Moses Bogere, Betty Namanya and Daphine Nakanwagi of charges of forging land titles to show that they owned the NSSF land.

On the other side, Patrick Onyango, a private surveyor was acquitted of  fraudulently helping the group survey the land and got titles overlapping the title acquired by NSSF in 2003.

The trial magistrate said the witnesses brought by the state could not be relied upon since they claim in some circumstances that they had recanted the statements they had made.

“These witnesses are liars. It is my finding that they are the very witnesses who performed acts illegally to have been performed in procuring the impugned titles.  They are not worthy of any belief,” the magistrate said .

Court said these inconsistencies and many others on record show that the witnesses and their evidence are suspicious that no court can accept them.

“These are deliberate falsehoods and these render the entire evidence suspect and not worthy of any belief. I have properly examined evidence on record. My finding is surely that this evidence has left doubt in my mind.  The mode of recovery of documents, mode of custody of evidence specifically the experts report, inconsistencies in evidence of witnesses which caused them to lose credibility in the eyes of court and the failure to examine the documents uploaded on the system as against sample signatures and stamps, was the turning point of this case. These inefficiencies lefts a lot to be desired about this investigation,” the trial magistrate said.

In a statement , NSSF insisted that it is the complainant against these individuals “who through Wakiso District Land Board have fraudulently created title that has been overlaid over the Fund’s land in Lubowa.”

“We  are therefore interested in the outcome of the appeal.  It is important to note that the fraud was perpetrated on only 7 acres of land on one plot of land. The Fund’s land is comprised in 109 certificates of title,” NSSF head of marketing and corporate affairs,  Barbra Teddy Arimi said in the statement.

NSSF said the charges before court  were not about ownership of land, but fraud perpetrated at the Wakiso Lands office.

The Fund said this fraud led to an overlay of titles onto its registered land in Lubowa, off Entebbe Road.

“The Fund has legal titles and is in possession of all the land totaling 600 acres”


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