The Ombudsman’s office has warned the public against conmen impersonating attorneys to fleece money from unsuspecting victims.
This follows last week’s reports about a man, identified as Andre Nduwimana, who was arrested in Rwamagana soliciting for Rwf 1 million in bribe with promise to expedite a case of a resident.
The suspect, who had acquired Rwf900,000 by the time of his arrest, claimed to be an attorney with connections to the Ombudsman’s Office.
At least four people reported to have fallen victims in the same manner.
Speaking to the media on Friday, Jean Pierre Nkurunziza, an advisor to the Ombudsman, said the general public should be conscious of conmen.
He said: “People should not be tempted to have their cases solved through shortcuts but wait patiently until their cases are analysed and solved through due process. They should be vigilant and avoid conmen posing as employees working in the Ombudsman Office.”
“The Office of the Ombudsman’s services are free of charge and it is everyone’s right to access justice in one way or another, just like one can appeal when they are not satisfied with the court’s decisions,” he added.
According to the Ombudsman’s Office, similar cases were reported in 2016, when five people were arrested.
This year, so far, three suspects have been arrested.
Nkurunziza said the suspects stealthily obtain necessary information about cases of would be victims from local government officials, investigation departments, prosecutors or judges, among others.
Nkurunziza called for improved collaboration between the public, security agencies and the Ombudsman’s Office to tackle the vice.
He said: “People should report immediately, either to the police or the Office of the Ombudsman, cases of impersonation,” he said.