Monday April 21 2014

Clan leaders apply for bail pending appeal hearing

By Hudson Apunyo

Four leaders of the Ogora Clan who were convicted to one year in jail for causing grievous bodily harm and malicious damage to property by Apac Court, are making attempts to be freed.
Inspector of Police Alfred Omara, 56, who is the community liason officer of Otuke District and the Awitong (clan head) of Ogora, together with his vice head, Omer Yuventino, 71, the clan speaker, Richard Moro, 35, and a security officer Peter Wacha, 60 were in 2011 arrested and charged with causing grievous bodily harm and malicious damage to the property of a one George Odur their clan member.

They were convicted of the offence and sentenced to 12 months for doing grievous harm and four months for malicious damage to property to run concurrently. They were sent to Atopi Prison to serve their sentence.
The four were in the High Court of Lira on Thursday applying for bail pending hearing of their appeal against the sentence. Several subjects thronged the court in support of their leaders.

The presiding Judge, Justice Winfred Nabisinde advised both State and defence to make a written submission after which she will rule.
Through their lawyer, Mr Innocent Omara, of Omara and Co. Advocates, the appellants maintained in their affidavit in support of the application that they were only called to preside over a meeting to resolve a conflict between the complainant, his sisters, brothers and parents on 30 April, 2011 and did not assault or destroy his property.

Mr Omara in his written motion said the appeal is likely to succeed as their conviction was based on weak and contradictory statements of witnesses. And that imprisonment without the option of fine in the circumstance is excessive and unusual.

The action of Mr Odur a former member of the Presidential Escort Unit in the Obote II regime is widely condemned in Lango.
Odur fled the country and lived in Sweden and was sending money home to build a house.

When he returned, he reportedly found his parents living in the house and allegedly threw them out.
In Lira, clan leaders have often acted in excessiveness to the extent of beating subjects to death. There are many instances where the clan leaders order a subject be beaten to death with impunity.