Thursday, May 9, 2022-Omara Geoffrey, a city physical planner, working with Lira Municipal Council, Lira City and Ogwal Philip the Lira District physical planner have been arrested and arraigned at Anti-Corruption Division Court, Kololo for soliciting and receiving a bribe of Ugx. 4 million.
In 2015, Ms. Rehema Akello acquired land from Lira District on lease that expired after a period of 5 years. However, due to COVID-19 challenges, she was unable to file in her lease extension application on time.
In June 2020, she submitted an application to the district for a lease extension. Omara Geofrey, the Lira city planner, and Ogwal Philip, the Lira District Local Government’s Physical planner, both considered this a late submission. The pair demanded Ugx 4 million from her, stating the money was needed to help the land board work on her file. She initially refused to pay, but after being persuaded by Omara Geoffrey for six months, she gave the money to him using mobile money on October 29, 2020.
Omara Geofrey, the one who received the money, never divided it with his partner Ogwal Philip, prompting Ogwal to call Ms Akello and insist that she deliver him his portion. The two government agents’ constant harassment and extortion forced her to report the incident to the State House Anti-Corruption Unit on February 4, 2022.
The State house Anti-corruption Unit in collaboration with the Uganda police conducted investigations that led to the arrest of both Omara Geoffrey the City Physical Planner, and the Ogwal Phillip, the Lira district Physical planner.
Thy have been charged with corruption c/s 2(a) and 26 of the anti-corruption Act, 2009.