KAMPALA. A sister who stood surety for her brother, who was charged with obtaining Shs 17m by false pretense, has been jailed after he disappeared under unclear circumstances.
The case was pending judgment when the accused Valentini Kalani snubbed court which prompted the trial judge to order arrest his sister, Ms Juliet Nalwoga, who had stood surety at the time he was released on bail.
According to the law, the core responsibility of the surety is to ensure that the accused person goes to court on time and on the right dates after he/she is granted bail. On defaulting, the surety is arrested and suffers the fate of the offender until found.
A Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court session presided over by Ms Gladys Kamasanyu heard that it’s now eight months since Kalani absconded from court.
Ms Kamasanyu ordered that Ms Nalwoga either traces his brother or pays bond sum of Shs 12million if she desires to regain her freedom.
“Nalwoga where is your brother? Remember, when you stood surety for him on February 12, 2015, you told court the accused person is your biological brother before you were bonded at Shs 12million.You as well promised to ensure that he attends court. However, when I fixed the matter for judgment in October 2016, he never reported back to court and you as well disappeared,”Ms Kamasanyu said.
Ms Kamasanyu added that: “It took a longtime to trace at least one of the sureties. If I release this surety (Nalwoga) now, it will be unfair to Kalani’s victim. Justice must not just be done but must be seen to be done. I hereby remand you to Luzira Prison until July 13.”
Prosecution led by Ms Patricia Chingtho contends that Kalani during the month of August 2014 at Serena Hotel in Kampala with intent to defraud obtained Shs17 million from Mr Muguda Lwanga pretending that he was going to purchase for him a vehicle Prado TX from Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).
According to court records, Kalani impersonated a URA clearing agent on August 12, 2014 before telling Mr Lwanga that there were vehicles at URA.
“Accused told the complainant that there were vehicles to be auctioned and that he had a friend at URA who would help the complainant get a good vehicle. The accused asked him for two passport photos to help him get a TIN number from URA,” the ruling on case to answer reads in part.
It further expounds that the following day, Kalani asked the complainant to send him first Shs100,000 to process the TIN number which he sent via the mobile money. On August 15, 2014, the accused asked his victim (Lwanga) to find him at Serena Hotel with Shs17 million to meet the commissioner which he did and handed him the said money.