Minister suspends Lira land board

The Minister of Land, Housing, and Urban Development, Judith Nabakooba has suspended all Lira district land board members over alleged corruption and influence peddling.

In a letter dated 4th Feb 2022 to the Chief Administrative Officer [CAO], Ben Ogwete Otim, the minister said, the allegation translates into questionable moral turpitude against public officers serving on the board.

“The ministry has received complaints of misconduct involving corruption and influence-peddling against the members of Lira district land board where I am the approving officer in such an appointment,” she said.

“The purpose of this letter is to suspend the officials of the board to pave way for investigations into the allegation,” she adds. The letter was copied to the Inspector General of Government [IGG].

The board includes Chairperson Paul Cankoma Okello and four others.

The minister advised the district Chairperson, Richard Cox Okello Orik to nominate new members of the board for appointment and approval.

“I have asked the minister of state for lands to guide the district on the effective process of nominating new members on the board within a month,” she said.

The communication landed immediately after the arrest of Pastor Francis Okello, who was the acting secretary for the board. Okello was nabbed on allegations of smuggling land-related documents.

The police recovered a heap of files loaded in his car at the district headquarters which they suspected he wanted to ferry to his home.

Two weeks ago, former parliamentary candidate for Lira City West division, Anthony Ojuka called on the government to institute an investigation into corruption in the ministry of land zonal office in Lira district.

In his petition to the Permanent Secretary [PS], Ojuka accused Francis Ateng, the head of the zonal office of becoming a land broker, illegally processing land titles, and conniving with elements to sell government land.

Through his counsel, Opyene, and company advocate, Ateng has since rubbished the allegation and threatened to drag Ojuka to court over defamation.

It said Ojuka uttered inaccurate and incorrect statements which were intended to satisfy his personal and political interests.

But Nabakooba instructed the Permanent Secretary to liaise with the ministry of land’s zonal office not to entertain backdating of documents to authenticate fraudulent acts.

The post Minister suspends Lira land board appeared first on The Cooperator News.