The Minister of State for Karamoja Affairs Hon. Agnes Nandutu was on Wednesday charged and committed to high court for trial over iron sheets meant for the vulnerable people of Karamoja sub region.
Nandutu, who handed herself to Police on Tuesday arrived at the Anti-corruption court in Kololo after spending a night at Kira Division police headquarters where she was detained.
The Anti- Corruption Court grade one magistrate Esther Asiimwe charged Nandutu with dealing with suspect property contrary to section 21A (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act,2009 (As Amended) before she was committed to High Court for trial.
Asiimwe also told court that she cannot hear the Karamoja Affairs junior minister’s bail application following her commital.
This was after the State attorney, Mr David Bisamuyu told court that inquiries into the case were complete.
“I have instructions from the DPP to have the suspect committed to the High Court for trial. The committal papers are before you my lord,” he said before an indtctment was read and the minister committed.
Under the charge, the DPP contends that during the month of June 2022, at the OPM stores in Namanve, Mukono District and Kkola cell , Bulwanyi Parish in Mukono district, Nandutu dealt with 2000 pre-painted iron sheets of gauge 28 by receiving and holding the said iron sheets which she had reason to believe were acquired as a result of lose of public property , an offence under section 10(1) of the Anti Corruption Act 2009.
However, Nandutu denied the charges read to her.
“Your worship, I understand the charges but they are not correct,” she told court.
The trial magistrate later read Nandutu’s indictment to court and committed her to High court for trial .
“The accused is hereby committed for trial in the next court session,” Grade One Magistrate Esther Asiimwe said.
Nandutu protested the decision noting that, “I’ve been baptized by fire. Why should [I] be committed to the High Court when the lower court has the mandate to deal with this,?”
She was remanded to Luzira Prison until May 3, 2023 when she’s expected to appear before court for mention of her case.
The former journalist now joins her fellow minister; Mary Goretti Kitutu(Karamojanaffairs) and Amos Lugoloobi( finance) who were also charged by the Anti-corruption court.