Isaac Ssemakadde (R) says LBT will file a public interest law suit against the Tullow Oil Cash Bonanza
Ugandan activist lawyers are set to file a lawsuit seeking full disclosure of all information related to the Tullow Oil Capital Gains Tax case, Chimp Corps report.
This move will be championed by Legal Brains Trust (LBT), which has in recent years been involved in high profile public interest cases.
This website broke the news about over Shs 7bn shared among government officials in the Ministries of Energy, Finance, Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Uganda Revenue Authority for ‘winning’ the case.
“At Legal Brains Trust, we applaud the editorial team at Chimp Reports for the journalistic courage and excellence they demonstrated by exposing unprecedented abuse of public power and public resources by those entrusted with the public purse and public welfare,” said LBT Chief Executive Isaac Ssemakadde.
“Until today, some of these people were thought of as “role models” and “future judges” of this country. That career limelight is now almost dented,’” he added.
“We assure Ugandans that this media expose will be complemented by the filing of a public interest lawsuit tomorrow (Wednesday, 4 January) to force every person on that infamous list to return the money they stole from Ugandans, apologise for misconduct in public office, and to direct responsible State organs to investigate and punish the culprits appropriately.”
LBT now joins MPs and civil society officials who have since demanded for justification for the expenditure as the case was finally resolved through negotiations that saw Uganda lose $223m.
Uganda and Tullow reached a settlement following quiet negotiations whereby the oil firm paid $250m instead of the $473m that was the amount due as CGT.
Ssemakadde said the report is a “reminder that there will always be illegal conduct that is not zealously pursued by state actors such as the CID, DPP, Inspectorate of Government or Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority, for a host of reasons, including scarce resources, shifting priorities, personality conflicts, and most troublesome, the political sensitivity of high-level investigations.”
He decried what he described as “systemic corruption” supported by a network of “learned friends” that makes meaningful prosecution fiction.
“Unless independent citizens and civil society organizations like the Legal Brains Trust file public interest anti-corruption lawsuits that force the government to investigate and prosecute corruption seriously, there will be no end to the impunity with which public funds are misappropriated. We request Ugandans and other well wishers to support the public interest lawsuit we shall be filing tomorrow,” he added.
The public interest advocacy organization provides pro bono legal services to activists and civil society organizations.
The organisation was involved in the Milk Case (representing over 50,000 dairy traders who had been expelled from cities and municipalities by ministerial order), the Nkumba University Case (representing over 4000 students who successfully recovered Shs 600million in illegal fines imposed on them by the university) and the on-going Kato Lubwama election court Case.