A Grade One Magistrate court in Lira City has remanded to Lira Government prison two businessmen for fraudulently procuring a certificate of title in a forest reserve land
The accused persons including a 48-year-old businessman Joel Okwir, and Lawrence Okello 48, a proprietor of Oil Energy, a company currently operating a fuel station on the contested land appeared before the senior Principal Magistrate Grade One, Jane Tibagonzeka.
These were arrested by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit which is currently investigating several cases of illegal sale of both government and public land within Lira City.
While appearing before the court for mentioning, the duo were charged with five different counts including fraudulent procurement of a certificate of title contrary to section 190 of the registration of Tittles Act Cap 230, altering, moving, destroying and defacing boundary mark of a forest reserve, clearing and occupying a forest reserve for commercial and industrial purposes rather than for forest purposes, and conspiracy to commit a felony.
The prosecution told the court that Okwir, a businessman and others still at large between April 2018 and July 2020 at Lira Lands offices in Lira District fraudulently processed and procured the registration on a freehold certificate of title on a forest reserve land on plot 4A station Road in Railways Quarters A cell.
The document was procured in the name of Mark Aliro, according to the prosecution.
The court also heard that Okello, between September 2020 and October 2022 at Lira City cleared and occupied part of Lira plantations central forest reserve on plot 4A station Road in Railways Quarters A cell for commercial purposes and has since established a petrol station, Oil Energy.
The accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to all the five charges, praying to be released on court bail.
The presiding magistrate, Tibagonzeka, told the accused persons that the case could only be heard before the chief magistrate court.
Both accused persons were subsequently remanded to Lira Government prison until December 19th, 2023, when the court returns to decide on the bail application.
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Publish date : 2023-12-09 10:01:26