Two Lira officials remanded over alleged land fraud

Joseph Ocen Alwong (L), and Francis Opio(R) appear before the Lira Chief Magistrate Court on June 20, 2024. PHOTO | CHARITY AKULLO

What you need to know:

  • The disputed land, located at plot 19, Ben Emor Road in Lira City East Division, is purportedly owned by Lira District Local Government.

Two senior officials from Lira District Local Government have been remanded to prison over allegations of land fraud by the Chief Magistrate's Court in Lira City.

Joseph Ocen Alwong and Francis Opio, both senior land management officers, appeared before Chief Magistrate Joefay Adoko on Thursday.

They face charges of abuse of office under Section 11(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2009 and conspiracy to defraud under Section 309 of the Penal Code Act.

The arrests were made by detectives from the State House Anti-Corruption Unit on Thursday, after which they were promptly brought before the court.

According to the prosecution, Joseph Ocen Alwong conspired with Opio between February 2019 and October 2020 while serving at Lira District Local Government. They allegedly facilitated the acquisition of a freehold certificate of title for public land in the name of Ocen's daughter, Elizabeth Winifred Akite, falsely claiming she was the customary owner.

Ocen is accused of abusing his office authority to the detriment of Lira District administration.

The disputed land, located at plot 19, Ben Emor Road in Lira City East Division, is purportedly owned by Lira District Local Government.

During the same period, Francis Opio, employed as a surveyor, allegedly misused his office authority to help Ocen obtain the fraudulent title in Akite's name.

The accused were not allowed to enter a plea during the court proceedings.

The Chief Magistrate remanded both individuals to Lira Central Prison pending their transfer to the Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala.