Solicitor General Atoke: Handshake Was a “By-the-way”

Francis Atoke, Fred Ruhindi and Peter Nyombi facing COSASE recently (Photo by Nixon Segawa)

The Solicitor General; Francis Atoke has termed the controversial Shs6bn Presidential Handshake as a ‘by-the-way.’

Atoke whose primary role is to perform the functions of the government legal adviser- Attorney General, more about infuriated Members of Parliament investigating the matter when he failed to provide any document and treated nearly everything casually.

The parliamentary committee Chairperson, cheapest Abdu Katuntu asked the Solicitor General to provide the minutes of the first meeting that initiated the handshake, information pills but Atoke told the committee that there was no minutes taken since it was too simple a meeting to warrant one.

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“The handshake was just a by-the-way thing. We didn’t take any minutes,” he told the shocked MPs.

It should be remembered that all the meetings and decisions leading to handshake in August last year, were carried out in the Attorney General’s Chambers and chaired by the 3 top officials of the institution.

Former Attorney General, Peter Nyombi who got Shs226million, Atoke (234m) and Deputy Attorney General Fred Ruhindi (93m) were the handshake legal brains.

The trio and other officials from the Attorney General’s office started appearing before the committee on Tuesday.

The Uganda Revenue Authority officials who appeared first put much of the responsibilities that led to handshake on the Attorney General’s office.

The ministry of Energy and Mineral Development officials who appeared last week also referred the committee to the Attorney General’s office.

Atoke and his team however, on Tuesday claimed ignorance of the needed crucial documents and simply based on article 98 that gives the President the prerogative to reward.

“Under Article 98 and Article 99 of the Constitution, the President is the fountain of honor and head of the Executive. In accordance with the prerogative of the crown the President is empowered to reward exemplary and ethical performance,” part of the written response read by Atoke said.

The trio was accompanied by the Commissioner Legal Advisory Services in the ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Christopher Gashirabake who got Shs242m handshake.


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