Prosecutor sued over missing cash exhibit

By Juliet Kigongo

KAMPALA. A state attorney has been sued for failure to refund exhibit money worth Shs76m following a foiled theft case reported by Stanbic Bank.
The said money, according to Stanbic bank (petitioner), was given to Ms Anne Ntimba, then attached to Nakawa Court as the Resident State Attorney, for purposes of being exhibited in court in March 2013.

The bank states in its petition that the said money remained in the state attorney’s possession to date as she never exhibited in court.
“The plaintiff’s (Stanbic Bank) claim against the defendants (Attorney General and Ms Ntimba), jointly is for the recovery of Shs76m as money received, interest thereon at 24 per cent per annum calculated from March 30, 2013 until payment in full and costs of this suit,” reads in part the bank’s law suit.

According to the court documents, the state attorney’s woes began when there was an attempt to rob Stanbic bank, Ntinda branch by two suspected robbers (John Paul and Christopher Wamai) but the crime was foiled.
To that effect, a case of theft was reported to police that also took Shs76m in its custody that the robbers had targeted to snatch to act as exhibit in court as they prosecuted them.

“On or about June 7, 2017, the exhibit money was handed to the 2nd defendant (Ms Ntimba), who was the resident state attorney, with the intention that the money be exhibited in court. A copy of her slip signifying her possession of the money is attached hereto,” the bank contends in its suit.
Court documents further indicate that at the end of the trial, the two suspected robbers were acquitted and in September 2017, Stanbic bank, through its lawyers, wrote to Ms Ntimba requesting for the return of the said money.

But in her response, she wrote back stating that the money had been handed back to a police officer identified as Peter Byaruhanga and that the same was dully signed for by the officer.
“Following the 2nd defendant’s (Ms Ntimba) said response letter, the plaintiff (Stanbic Bank) requested the 2nd defendant to avail proof of her handing the money to the said Peter Byaruhanga, which has never been done to this day,” the bank asserts.
It adds: “In the meantime, the plaintiff also wrote to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), bringing the above to its attention and requesting the office to direct the 2nd defendant to hand back the said money, no response was ever received from the said office to this date.”

Writing to police
The bank goes on to state that following the silence from the office of the DPP, they decided to write to the commander of the Special Investigations Division (SID), seeking to establish whether the said Mr Byaruhanga is an officer within his unit and also whether he received the said money from the state attorney.
But in a shocking response, the police wrote back stating of how they don’t have such an officer by those names.
Further, the police stated that the SID handed back the said money to the bank but on being tasked to furnish them with proof, up to date the police has also not complied.

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