Ateng Francis, the principal assistant secretary in charge of the lands ministry zonal office, has been charged with abuse of office in connection to Uganda Railways Corporation Land. The charges also involve a Lira businessman, Joseph Ocen, and were brought before Chief Magistrate Joan Aciro at the Nakasero-based Anti-Corruption Court on January 9, 2024.
Ateng Francis and Joseph Ocen are accused of a series of offenses, including abuse of office, fraudulent procurement of a certificate of title, forgery, uttering false documents, and conspiracy to defraud. The charges stem from their alleged activities between January 2018 and January 2020 in Lira district and Kampala.
The prosecution, led by Chief State Attorney Jonathan Muwaganya, contends that in January 2019, while serving as the principal assistant secretary at the Lira lands ministry zonal office, Ateng abused his office by irregularly facilitating the issuance of a special certificate of title. This title was intended for the allocation of Uganda Railways’ land at FRV 2020, Folio 13, located on Mukwano road in Lira district.
Furthermore, it is alleged that on January 17, 2018, Ateng falsely represented himself as the managing director of Uganda Railways Corporation. In this capacity, he purportedly signed an application for a special certificate of title and a statutory declaration related to land at FRV 2020, Folio 13, on Mukwano road in Lira.
The charges also include accusations that Ateng and Ocen, between June 2019 and January 2020 in Kampala, forged a transfer form for land in Lira district, claiming it was signed by the managing director of Uganda Railways Corporation, Katebe, in favor of Ocen. They are further accused of forging an application for a special certificate of title during the same period, claiming endorsement by the managing director.
The alleged offenses continue with Ateng and Ocen being accused of uttering fake documents in Lira district between June 2019 and January 2020 to obtain a special certificate of title and statutory declaration. Additionally, they are said to have conspired to commit an offense in relation to Uganda Railways Corporation land in January 2018 and August 2018 in Kampala and Lira.
Both Ateng and Ocen have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Ateng is currently out on bail, while Ocen is remanded in Luzira Prison.