Anti-Corruption Court Sets Date to Hear Case on Animal Semen Procurement

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The Anti-Corruption Court has scheduled July 10 to address a high-profile case involving former executives of the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Data Bank (NAGRC & DB), including Dr. Charles Lagu. The accused are charged with improperly acquiring animal semen valued at sh1.3 billion.

Chief Magistrate Joan Aciro of the Anti-Corruption Court set the date on behalf of High Court Judge Lawrence Gidudu. Aciro directed the defendants to appear in court on the specified date for the proceedings.

The case, now under Judge Gidudu, was delayed for over ten months due to the reassignment of state prosecutors by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Previously, Judge Margaret Tibulya was presiding until her elevation to the Court of Appeal. State attorneys Steven Ariong and David Mugamba were reassigned to Kabale and Jinja, respectively, causing further delays.

Dr. Lagu, along with nine others, faces charges including abuse of office, corruption, fraudulent accounting, and forgery. The accused also include procurement officer Eziekel Mukani, farm manager Clement Nuwamanya, and veterinary officer Patrick Mawadri, among others.

During a recent court session, Andrew Emejeit, a senior officer from the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA), testified. He disclosed that the Solicitor General had not approved the sh1.3 billion contract between the government and Kibbubu Agro Suppliers Limited for animal semen supply, as required by law.

Emejeit expressed uncertainty about any advance payment made under the contract. He highlighted flaws in the procurement process, such as the lack of detailed delivery specifications, which breached PPDA regulations.

He stressed the necessity of clear procurement guidelines to prevent commitments to unsuitable purchases and overpayments due to the absence of market price assessments.

Moreover, Emejeit noted that procuring animal semen from Kibbubu did not qualify for direct procurement, as other suppliers were available.

He clarified that Kibbubu acted as an intermediary rather than the manufacturer, raising concerns about the transparency and efficiency of the procurement process.

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