Nyarugenge Primary Court has on September 26 granted bail to two top Cogebanque officials, noting that there is no reasonable ground to keep prosecuting them while detained. The suspects, Joel Kayonga, the bank’s Commercial Director, and Credit Director George Ndizihiwe are charged with misusing property in public interest and favouritism in discharging their duties. Pronouncing the ruling, the presiding judge said that on crime of favouritism in discharging their duties, the prosecution failed to provide enough evidence to pin them for the crime. In addition, the judge pointed out that there is no reasonable grounds to suspect the duo for the crime of misusing property in public interest, arguing that the loan was approved by the board and hence they can’t be prosecuted over it. According to prosecutors, the duo committed the alleged crimes last year when they authorised a loan of Rwf6bn to one David Byuzura under his company Builder Holding Ltd in December to buy a tobacco factory worth Rwf10 bn, yet he did not fulfil the requirements. The prosecution had previously requested the court to remand the duo arguing that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that they committed the alleged crimes as well as fear to escape justice among reasons. However, during the bail hearing that took place on September 21, the duo pleaded not guilty saying the decision to authorise the loan was taken by the bank’s board. Furthermore, the judge said that in evaluating if the businessman had raised the requisite 20 per cent equity that was needed to get the loan facility, it emerged that there was no need for that because the transaction was done before a notary. Moreover the court ruled that, the fact that the money has been paid back, is among reasons to prove that there is no reasonable ground to suspect that they committed the crime. Addressing the judge, Ndizihiwe pointed out that all procedures in loan acquisition were followed and dismissed the claim by the CEO that he had recused himself from the transaction as a lie. Instead, he accused his boss of absconding responsibility, challenging him to produce a written note attesting to his recusal. Furthermore, he said that before providing the loan, the dossier is evaluated by two different committees and finally approved by the board, which was all followed in the letter. On his part, Kayonga said that they don’t know the reason why they are in custody yet the loan has been fully paid back and did their responsibilities among other reasons. The duo was arrested on September 1.