A suspect being arrested (courtesy photo)

Vincent Alpha Opio, the Kikuube LCV Vice Chairperson, is in custody at the Kikuube Central Police Station for alleged extortion of 1.5 million shillings.

Opio was arrested on Tuesday afternoon at the Kikuube District Headquarters.

According to information gathered by Uganda Radio Network (URN), Opio extorted 1.5 million shillings from Derick Musabiire, an applicant for a job advertised in the district. 

Opio allegedly demanded the money from Musabiire to secure the job for him. However, after failing to secure the position, Musabiire reported the case to the Kikuube Central Police Station.

Julius Hakiza, the Albertine Region Police spokesperson, confirmed Opio’s arrest and detention in a telephone interview with URN. He stated that detectives are working on Opio’s file, which will be forwarded to the Resident State Attorney for perusal and legal guidance once ready.

Hakiza mentioned that witnesses have recorded statements against Opio to facilitate the investigation. “It is true we have him in our custody on allegations of extortion, and detectives are working on his file. Witnesses have recorded statements, and once the file is ready, it will be forwarded to the Resident State Attorney for perusal and legal guidance,” said Hakiza. According to Hakiza, once the investigations are complete, Opio will be arraigned in court and charged with extortion.

URN has also learned that several councilors in the district are being investigated for extorting money from job seekers In June 2022, several government officials and politicians in Kikuube were investigated over alleged extortion and corruption in the recruitment of workers. 

Hundreds of job seekers were conned by district officials who demanded between 500,000 and 1,000,000 shillings from applicants, promising to help them secure jobs. Despite paying the money, these applicants did not appear on the shortlist.

Amlan Tumusiime, the Kikuube Resident District Commissioner (RDC), confirmed to URN that many politicians, senior government officials, and members of the District Service Commission were being probed for their involvement in extortion and corruption. 

Tumusiime stated that several complaints had been submitted to his office, implicating the officials, but he concealed their particulars to avoid jeopardizing investigations. He also mentioned that his office had petitioned the State House Anti-Corruption Unit, which was investigating the matter.

In May 2022, a section of district councilors in Kikuube tabled a motion to censure three members of the District Executive Committee (DEC) over allegations of corruption, extortion, and forgery. The motion to censure Vincent Alpha Opio, the district Vice-Chairperson; Everce Munguriek, the then Secretary for Works; and Nicholas Kiiza, the Secretary for Production and Natural Resources, was moved by Ruth Kobusinge, the district female councilor for Buhimba sub-county, during a council sitting at the district headquarters.

Kobusinge claimed that the accused members were collecting money from job applicants, promising to secure them positions. Several complaints from the public had implicated the trio in extortion. However, the trio denied the allegations, stating they were aimed at tarnishing their image before the public.

***URN***

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