UGANDA, Fort Portal | Real Muloodi News | The Court of Appeal has ordered the Fort Portal Magistrates Court to continue the trial of three Kabarole District Land Board officials accused of fraudulent conversion of a land title.
In a letter dated January 24, Ms Lillian Bucyana the Deputy Registrar of the Court of Appeal directed the registrar of the Fort Portal Court to return the case file to the Magistrates Court for the continuation of criminal proceedings, as directed by the High Court in its ruling.
The accused are Peter Alinda, the Senior Land Management Officer, Cyprian Rwaheeru, the former chairperson of the district land board, and businesswoman Beatrice Nyindombi.
They are facing charges including forgery of a land transfer form, fraudulent procurement of a land title, and uttering false documents of the Kabarole District Land Board in 2016.
The case involves the alleged false presentation of a document for the conversion of a leasehold to freehold in favour of Nyindombi, which allegedly deprived the registered proprietor, Juma Hussein, of land in Harugongo, Kabarole District.
The directive followed a January 13 letter from the assistant registrar of the Fort Portal High Court, who had forwarded the criminal case file.
The accused had attempted to appeal the dismissal of their application to stop the trial, citing a pending civil case.
Early in January, however, the Fort Portal High Court Judge Vincent Wagona ruled that their application had no merit and ordered the trial to proceed.
The judge ruled, “It cannot be a correct proposition of the law that where a civil suit is pending between two parties, no criminal proceedings may be instituted against one of the parties arising from the same facts,” the judge held, adding, “In this case, it is my finding that the facts in the criminal and civil case are not necessarily similar or identical.”
Justice Wagona further stated that he found no reason to halt the criminal proceedings until the resolution of the civil action involving the land dispute.
Mr Alinda and Mr Rweheeru allegedly fabricated the minutes of the Kabarole District Land Board meeting KDLB MIN 0610212016 conducted on February 9, 2016, between February 2016 and October 2019 at Fort Portal in Kabarole District.
According to the authorities, Ms Nyindombi fabricated a transfer document for land containing lease Register Volume 1222 Folio 06 Plot 107 Block 45 at Harugongo in Kabarole District in January 2016.