Obey cited in new Shs1b pension scam
Posted Thursday, January 24 2013 at 09:16
Interdicted senior Ministry of Public Service official Christopher Obey and the Administrator General’s Office have been named in a new scam in which billions of shillings are believed to have been paid out to ghost pensioners.
Mr Obey, the suspended Principal Accountant (Pension), who is a key suspect in the loss of Sh169 billion pension, is alleged to have connived with a number of people to effect the payments to fictitious claimants, leading to a loss of Shs1.5 billion in the 2009/2010 financial year. It is believed that the deals were orchestrated between 2005 and 2012.
Detectives at the Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate (CIID) at Kibuli in Kampala have begun investigations into how 72 ghost names were submitted to the Administrator General’s Office for clearance as the administrators of the estates of dead pensioners.
According to documents the Daily Monitor has seen, on December 24, 2009, Mr Obey forwarded a list to the Administrator General, bearing more than 300 names of deceased pensioners under EFT GTY22/12/09 0000511.
However, 72 names allegedly did not tally with the PIN (personal identification numbers) entries in the Public Service pension registry.
While some of the PIN entries belonged to other individuals from different regions, others did not exist in the registry.
The payment schedule, for example, bore the name, Nyiramagezi Gastuvus, of Kisoro District, with PIN 27835, who was paid Ss47 million, but on cross checking with the registry, the number belonged to Mr James Ssozi, who worked with the local government in Kiboga.
Police have so far arrested Mr John Kasule Kato, for allegedly forging the documents sent to the Administrator General for the clearance of fictitious estate administrators.
The forged documents included minutes of different Chief Administration Officers (CAOs) meeting, letters of administration from different courts, death certificates and other documents.
According to a source privy to the ongoing investigations, police want Mr Obey to explain the circumstances under which he sent the various lists to the Administrator General in bid to ascertain possible connivance by Mr Kasule in the fraud, forgery and utterance of false documents.
The police are also faulting the Administrator General’s office for failing to verify documents before clearing the purported estate administrators.
Police have also sought payment schedules dating back to 2005, when the fraud is alleged to have begun.