Entebbe Land Fraudster Gets 11-Year-Jail Term

Entebbe Chief magistrate has sentenced 30-year-old Aron Ssebaggulu to eleven years and eleven months in prison for criminal trespass, causing malicious damage, forgery, and uttering false documents. 

Prosecution led by State Attorney Janat Kitimba successfully argued that Ssebaggulu committed the offenses on August 5th, 2022 at Bugiri-Bukasa in Katabi town council when he together with other suspects commandeered a grader to clear Linda Luyiga’s land measuring one and a half acres.    

Some of the accused turned into state witnesses and pinned Ssebaggulu for contracting them for the mission. During the trial, Luyiga told the court that she bought the land from Richard Bakojja in 2012. Bakojja was the complainant and first witness against the convict.

However, Ssebaggulu insisted that he bought the land from one Ssekibaala Kasirye and presented a purchase agreement, which was in Luganda and was purportedly authored by Ms. Mujulizi Byabakama and Co Advocates.  

However, the law firm denied ever authoring the document, saying that they never author their documents in vernacular leaving Ssebaggulu in shame. Luyiga’s caretaker of the disputed land, Emmanuel Jjumba was taken by surprise by Ssebaggulu’s criminal actions. 

Luyiga is a telecommunications expert working with the government and based in Mbarara. After his arrest, James Kyeyune, who was operating the grader to clear the disputed land informed police that he had been hired by Ssebaggulu at Shillings 2 million to do the work and had recieved an advance of Shillings 1 million in cash.

He switched sides and became the third prosecution witness following Jjumba. Ssekibaala also denied ever selling land to Ssebaggulu. He was witness number four, followed by the police constable who arrested Ssebaggulu and the advocate who denied authoring the sale/purchase agreement. Entebbe Chief magistrate, Stella Maris Amabillis convicted Ssebaggulu on Friday but deferred the sentencing to Tuesday.

State Attorney Kitimbo asked the court to hand the convict a deterrent sentence since land grabbing had become so rampant in the Entebbe area. Following the conviction, Ssebaggulu asked the court to be lenient to him arguing that it was his first time to commit the offense, he had siblings whose care he was shouldering, and that his assets and businesses would go to waste.

Amabillis observed that throughout the trial, Ssebaggulu had not shown any remorse, smiling through and through, and had also wasted the court’s time. She sentenced Ssebaggulu to eleven months in jail on the count of criminal trespass, five years in jail for malicious damage, and three years each on counts of forgery and uttering false documents.    

Amabillis noted that she expected to be a reformed person by the time he completes his sentence at Kigo prison. He reminded Ssebaggulu of his right to appeal within fourteen days if he felt the sentence was unfair.             

Late last year, Entebbe RDC Ms. Jackline Kankunda while addressing a security meeting ahead of the Christmas and New Year season cited land grabbing as one of the biggest problems fueling insecurity in the area and warned Local Council officials against aiding the fraudsters.

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