The leadership of Soroti City land Board is currently at loggerheads over what they have termed as irregularities and illegalities on allocation and leasing of plots.
According to the City land board boss Jorem Opian Obicho, the land board is currently engulfed in a cold war between its top leadership.
In one of the leaked documents seen by TNN and directed to the office of the City Mayor Joshua Edogu, Opian accuses the land board secretary Badru Ochengel for impersonation, fraud, abuse of office, corruption and misrepresentation of the land board.
According to Opian, the Soroti City Land Board have in the recent past been shocked and saddened by the unfortunate and absurd developments in form of malpractices that are traced to the office of the Secretary Soroti City Land board and in particular Mr. Ochengel Badiru, something they have drawn their conclusion and findings amount to or border on impersonation, fraud, abuse of office, corruption and misrepresentation of the Land Board to say the least.
The document further adds that, “the land board has learnt that letters, documents and fictitious minutes have been referred to or quoted, in support of some transactions or correspondences that implicate or misrepresent the Board, being false utterances.
“The effect of the above has largely been to, without due process, approved applications for Leasehold titles of property in the City as well as general processing of Land titles among others, something that is the preserve and role of the Land Board,” said Opian in his dosser.
Opian has referred the city mayor to interest himself to investigate; A lease extension letter to Katongole Edith dated 11th August 2022 purported minute extract no. SCLB 06/2022 4(A) 4 extended lease for plot no 51 Gweri Road, a matter we are reliably informed has a family dispute which is unresolved in courts of law and was never handled by the City Land Board.
The other is a letter to the Commissioner Survey & Mapping Department, for preparation of lease title for Mayende Tasman dated 11th August 2022, purported minute no. SCLB 06/2022 which has never been handled by Soroti City Land Board and we are reliably informed has unresolved ownership.
Opian adds that, contrary to the mandatory provision of Section 62 (3) of the Land Act, the Board has not been able to sit for the last almost six (6) months against pleas and demands by the board for the same to be organized.
“We find it holding us back from our legal obligation to execute our mandate but also serve the expectant and helpless community, whose land rights, businesses and property rights have been affected by non-operation of the board.”
He has however disassociated the actions of Ochengel from the land board.
“On behalf Soroti City Land Board, even as I referred above, to condemn, disassociate the board from this unfortunate acts and to notify you of the anomalies, the plight of the City Land Board as well as encourage you to find ways and means through which the responsible and errant officers can be called to order. Secondly, we seek your intervention around challenging the responsible technical offices to enable and support the board to execute its mandate as provided by the law, but also serve the community and citizens at large that badly need or rely on the services of the Land Board,” Opian said.
But Ochengel while speaking to our reporter on Thursday Afternoon at Soroti City natural resources office said that Plot 51 belongs to Katongole Edith noting that the file is under process and not yet complete and there is no lease extension on the file until the Area Land committee presents its report.
He also dismissed claims that he is erroneously allocating and leasing plots terming the allegations baseless and aimed at tainting his reputation.