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Lawyer Wanyoto petitions court to block money laundering charges against him

Lawyer Paul Wanyoto

Lawyer Paul Wanyoto

City lawyer Paul Mugoya Wanyoto has petitioned the High court civil division to block the money laundering charges he is battling in the Anti-Corruption Court.

Wanyoto is charged with money laundering contrary o section 3(c) and 136(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2013 when he knowingly acquired land comprised in Busiro, Block 312, Plot 841 at Kalambi in Wakiso district knowing at the time of receipt that it was a proceed of crime.  

His co-accused are accused of conspiring to defraud businessman, Ssuna Dauda Katenda of Shs 1.2 billion. They reportedly approached Katende claiming that Abraham Mukiibi had Shs 18.5 billion that had been frozen in dfcu bank to trick him into giving them the money.

The other suspects are Jonathan Tindebya, the manager Rubaga Guest House Inn, Patrick Mugisha alias Allan Kantu,  the director Sports Africa Talent, businessmen Ssalongo Abdul Lubowa alias Abraham Mukiibi from Sembabule district, Allan Nziine Sabiti, Ronald Kavuma Kato from Rubaga division, Martin Sabiiti, Harriet Nabumba and housewife Harriet Bukirwa.  

In his documents before court, Wanyoto contends that the process leading to the initiation of the charges against him was marred by malice from the investigating officer, Joshua Ouma.

He explains that on December 16, 2019, he received unofficial information from his friends within the legal fraternity especially those working at the Anti-Corruption court indicating that Oumo together with Marion Ocio had amended the charge sheet to include him as accused number seven on money laundering charges, 16 months after the same had been preferred against the other accused persons.

Wanyoto contends that he perused through the amended charge sheet and the summary of the case, which had been leaked to him showing that police and DPP had reached a decision to prosecute him for money laundering. He reveals that he was never summoned by Oumo or anyone from police to record a statement regarding his alleged involvement in the case in question.

Wanyoto contends that on December 17, 2019 he made a written complaint to the director of public prosecutions (DPP) highlighting the malicious, illegal and irrational manner in which Oumo included him as a co-accused in the matter.

He, however, says that since then, no step has been taken by the DPP to verify the veracity of his complaint and no step was made to investigate the alleged serious allegations of misconduct reported by Oumo. 

He alleges that he knows there is a secret illegal scheme orchestrated by Oumo in cahoots with some elements within the DPP to arrest him on trumped-up charges with the aim of embarrassing him and maliciously prosecute him. 

Through his lawyers of Banturaki and Company Advocates, Wanyoto alleges that the process leading to the institution of the charges against him was unreasonable, illegal and lacked procedural fairness and should, therefore, be quashed. He wants court to order government to pay him general damages.

This is not the first time Wanyoto is being implicated in fraud-related cases. In 2018, Wanyoto was charged in the Anti-Corruption court together with seven senior police officers for extorting Shs 1.4 billion from Park Seunghoon and Jang Shingu Un, both South Koreans nationals.     

His co-accused included Samuel Nabeta Mulowooza, the managing director Eye Power Engineering Company and Police officers, Siraje Bakaleke, Robert Munezero, Innocent Nuwagaba, Robert Ray Asiimwe, Junior Amanya, Babu Gastavas and Kenneth Zirintuusa. The charges were later withdrawn against them.

In February 2019, Wanyoto was sent to Luzira prison on charges of obtaining money by false pretense and conspiracy to commit a felony after he reportedly conspired with city businessman, Moses Ndyanabangi, the director Consolidated Services Limited to defraud over Shs 700 million from Yahya Osman Muhammad in a fake gold deal.

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