Trial date for Kitatta set

0
10

On Monday, the General Court Martial (GCM) presided over by Lt. Gen Andrew Gutti announced the date after prosecution led by Maj. Raphael Mugisha informed court that investigations into the matter were complete.

PIC: Bodaboda 2010 patron Abdallah KitTata gestures as he leaves the dock. Kitatta and some of his co-accused were before the General Court Martial at Makindye on March 19. (Credit: Meddie Musisi)

CRIME

KAMPALA – The army court has set April 23, to begin hearing a case in which the patron of Bodaboda 2010, Abdallah Kitatta and 12 others, are accused of illegal possession of firearms.

Kitatta with his co-accused were recently charged with six counts of unlawful possession of firearms and they denied the offences. The offence attracts a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, on conviction.

On Monday, the General Court Martial (GCM) presided over by Lt. Gen Andrew Gutti announced the date after prosecution led by Maj. Raphael Mugisha informed court that investigations into the matter were complete.

“Chairman, the case was slated for mention, but investigations into the matter are complete and we request court to set a date for hearing,” Mugisha said.

Lt. Gen. Gutti also directed prosecution to disclose to the defence team evidence they intend to use against the accused during trial.

The accused are also battling charges of unlawful possession of military hardware under section 160 (2) (c) of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) Act of 2005.

The military equipment includes two pistols, SMG rifle and 50 rounds of ammunition for the firearms, among others.

Besides Kittata, the other suspects are Sowali Ngobi, Amon Twinomujuni, Joel Kibirige, Matia Ssenfuka, Hassan Sebatta, Jonathan Kayondo, Hassan Ssegoba, Sunday Ssemwogerere, John Sebandeke, Hussein Mugema, Fred Bwanika and Ibrahim Ssekajja.

At about 10:00am, Kitatta arrived at the court in the city suburbs of Makindye aboard an army green lorry, escorted by two military Police pickup trucks.

Kitatta, clad in a pair of grey trousers and yellow T-shirt appeared composed before the chairman and court that was packed with his relatives and friends.

Unlike the previous appearance where Kitatta sobbed uncontrolably, this time Kitatta smiled and flashed thumbs up sign, a sign for the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) to his relatives and friends, who had jammed court.

When Gutti was asked by lawyers of the accused, led by Shaban Sanywa, why he transferred Kitatta from Luzira Prison to Makindye military Police barracks, he said it was for security reasons.

“Don’t you know what your client did to other people,” Gutti laughed. 

Kitatta applies for bail

Kittata has also applied to be released on bail before the army court on grounds of ill-health.

“The applicant has a terrible health problem and a fixed place of abode within the jurisdiction of this court,” Sanywa said.

Kitatta also argues that bail is a constitutional right based on the constitutional guarantee of presumption of innocence and has substantial sureties to ensure his return to court once released on bail.

Through Sanywa, Wabwire and Company Advocates, Kittata says he has no criminal record and cannot interfere with investigations and influence witnesses. Kitatta also says he is sole breadwinner for his family, including relatives.

Background 
Prosecution alleges that Kitatta, Ngobi and Ssekajja on January 21, 2018, while at Vine Hotel at Wakaliga, Kampala district, in a motor vehicle UAK 135 B, were found in possession of a SMG and pistols without holding a valid firearms certificate.

Prosecution further alleges that the trio with 12 others on the same date was found in possession of military headgear (caps) and uniforms. However, Ngobi and Ssekajja are the only suspects who were not produced in court.

The arrest of Kittata followed a crackdown on suspects linked to the murder of Francis Ekalungar, the former accountant of Case Clinic. Most of the suspects are Bodaboda 2010 members.

Ekalungar was kidnapped on January 2, this year by unknown assailants on his way to dfcu Bank to deposit over sh15m belonging to the hospital. A day later, his body burnt was found at Kajjansi off Entebbe Road.
 

NewVision.co.ug

Facebook Comments

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here