UGANDA: Militia boss Kitata’s demand for unconditional release, blocking military court trial denied
Jailed patron of Boda Boda 2010 Association, Abudallah Kitatta in the dock at Military court in Kampala on May 21, 2018. PHOTO BY ABUBAKER LUBOWA
KAMPALA (DAILY MONITOR) – Jailed patron of Boda Boda 2010 Association, Abudallah Kitatta has lost an application in which he was seeking to block the ongoing trial before the General Court Martial. The High Court in Kampala dismissed Mr Kitatta’s application on grounds that it was filed before a wrong court.
“Who am I to instruct the officers to pay unestimated amount of money to the applicant (Kitatta). How can I instruct and where do I get all those powers to handle a civil case in the criminal division,” said Justice Yasin Nyanzi before advising Kitatta to file his application before the Civil Division or the Constitutional Court.
Kitatta had sued the Attorney General, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Court Martial officials; Col Gideon Katinda, the Judge Advocate who is the legal advisor, Maj John Bizimana
(registrar) and prosecutors led by Maj Raphael Mugisha.
Through his lawyers, Mr Kitatta who was not present during the ruling had asked the court to order for his unconditional release from military detention because he is a civilian.
He had accused the army of illegally arresting him yet there are security organs that can handle civilian personnel like him.
The dismissal of the application for unconditional release is the second blow, in less than a week, on Kitatta’s bid to be freed from custody since his arrest in January this year.
On Monday, Makindye based Army court declined to grant Kitatta bail on grounds that the sureties were not substantial.
Kitatta had presented four sureties including his father Hajji Muhammad Nangoba.
Lt Gen. Andrew Gutti who chairs the Army Court ruled that the sureties presented by Kitatta are ordinary people who cannot force him to appear and attend his trial.
“He is an influential and high profile person having been relating with Police officers, he will interfere with investigations and witnesses,” ruled Gen. Gutti adding that the court could not grant bail to Mr Kitatta due to the gravity of the offence which carries a maximum punishment of life in prison upon conviction.
Remanded since February this year, Mr Kitatta is jointly charged with twelve other suspects including Mr John Ssebandeke, a crime preventer of Nabweru in Wakiso District in connection with alleged unlawful possession of fire arms.
Other suspects include members of Boda Boda 2010 Association; Joel Kibirige, Matia Ssenfuka, Hassan Ssebata, Jonathan Kayondo, Hassan Ssengoba, Sunday Ssemogerere, Hussein Mugema, Fred Bwanika, Amon Twinomujuni, Sowali Ngoobi and Ibrahim Sekajja.
They all denied the charges against them and they are slated to appear before the army court for further hearing of prosecution evidence on June 12 this year.
The state alleges that on January 21, 2018 at Vine Hotel at Wakaliga, Nateete in Rubaga Division Kampala District, Kitatta and the co-accused persons were found in possession of two guns SMG, three pistols and bullets without holding a valid firearms certificate and military uniforms which are a monopoly of the defence forces.
—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: May 24, 2018 at 09:23AM