Friday February 23 2018

Omala: Why I backed ASP Kirumira for bail

Celebration.  The Former operations commander

Celebration. The Former operations commander for Kampala region Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr Sam Omala, former Buyende DPC Mohammed Kirumira and his wife admire their baby. PHOTO BY MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI 

By JOSEPH KATO

Kampala. The Former operations commander for Kampala region Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr Sam Omala, on Thursday stood surety for the embattled former Buyende District Police Commander Muhammad Kirumira in police court to enable him get bail on charges of extortion, torture and corruption.

Mr Omala told the police court chaired by Senior Commissioner Denis Odongpiny that he mentored Mr Kirumira from the rank of Assistant Inspector of Police (now Assistant Superintendent of Police).
He also said he knows the officer’s home and relatives with whom he would ensure he appears in court whenever he is needed.

Mr Omala’s explanation followed Mr Odongpiny’s query on how he would ensure Mr Kirumira respects the bail conditions and does not miss court.
“I have known Kirumira for a very long time because I worked with him in Kampala for many years when he was an AIP. He was a disciplined officer and I know he will abide by the bail conditions. I know him as my mukko (in-law] because I marry from his clan. He can’t let me down and his relatives will be there to guide him,” Mr Omala said.
Mr Kirumira was denied bail by the police court on Tuesday last week on account of failing to meet the requirements.

He had been asked to get an officer above his rank to stand surety for him; report to the Professional Standards Unit (PSU) everyday; refrain from speaking to the media, avoid utterances likely to tarnish police image and to threaten witnesses.
The maverick Kirumira then marched out of the police court protesting what he termed as “harsh” bail conditions.

On media
“On principles of natural justice, the police court also does things like any other court by respecting human rights. I want to see that there is peace. I have become a mediator between Kirumira and you the media,” Mr Omala said.

“I do not have moral authority to warn you but I am requesting you not to speak to him until this case has been concluded,” he added.
There was drama inside court as police prosecutor Katherine Kusemererwa and Godence Ovura, the Court Orderly, failed to present evidence on the charge of “scandalous conduct” against Kirumira which he allegedly committed when he stormed out of the court last week.

“Mr Kirumira exhibited scandalous manner while in this court on February 13 when he tried to attack you Mr Chairman and also injured ACP Ovura,” Ms Kusemererwa said.
However, Mr Kirumira interjected asking Mr Odongpiny whether he was not contradicting himself to try a case in which he is the complainant.
Mr Odongpiny quickly denied having ever been attacked by the accused officer.

“I would also request ACP Ovura to present medical evidence that satisfies the injuries I caused on him. Also, I seek to understand whether it is in order SSP Kusemererwa to be a prosecutor in a case in which she is the witness,” Mr Kirumira said.
Mr Odongpiny said Mr Kirumira had raised genuine concerns and asked Ms Kusemererwa to step aside as a prosecutor in the charge of “scandalous conduct.”

She was replaced by Mr Steven Ojara but the case could not proceed as he failed to avail evidence.
Earlier in the day, police officers guarding the court building clobbered two Bukedde journalists, Ponsiano Nsimbe and Mr Suleiman Mutebi for filming the arrival and trial of Mr Kirumira.
However, Mr Odongpiny insisted no journalist had been beaten despite available pictures and videos of officers running after the pressmen and whipping them.

Flashback

Mr Kirumira had spent close to a month in police custody after he was violently arrested by the Flying Squad a day after he announced his resignation from the Force, citing persecution.

jkato@ug.nationmedia.com

advertisement