Bombo killings: Four testify against soldier

Tuesday April 23 2013

Ms Lukia Atima testifies during the hearing of

Ms Lukia Atima testifies during the hearing of the Bombo shooting case. She said the suspect put her at gun point and robbed her of property. PHOTO BY ABUBAKER LUBOWA  



Drama ensued yesterday as a UPDF soldier who allegedly shot 10 people dead in Bombo near the headquarters was arraigned before the military General Court Martial for a public hearing.

Hundreds of people who gathered at Bombo Health Centre III ground kept on cheering prosecution witnesses who testified against Pte Patrick Okot Odoki in connection with the March 9 killings.

Pte Odoki, a soldier attached to Air defence at Bombo, was charged with 10 counts of murder of 10 people, including five soldiers, aggravated robbery, and four charges of attempted murder and failing to protect raw-materials. He appeared before the General Court Martial chaired by Brig. Fred Tolitand, and denied the charges.
However, four prosecution witnesses yesterday testified against Pte. Odoki saying they saw him shoot the victims.

Sgt. Godfrey Nimalema, attached to the Land Forces, testified that he witnessed the junior soldier shoot people at Mama Jakie’s bar.

Ms Rukiya Atima, 24, said she saw him shoot dead David Oketcha. She also testified that Pte Odoki robbed her of her hand bag and a cell phone before making her walk for kilometres to Bombo Commentary. “He (Odoki) told me that the army men were trailing him after committing a crime in the barracks. He then said he was looking for money to travel to Sudan to avoid arrest before warning me against revealing his whereabout,” Ms Atima testified.

Ms Phonny Ejan, a daughter of one of the deceased, told court that she heard noise from the bar as the accused was shooting. She then realised that her father, Sgt Onesmus Andiru, had been killed.

Attempted rape
Court heard that Sgt Andiru had reported a case of attempted rape of his daughter, Ms Ejan, at Police in Bombo, and that the case had led to a row between the decease’s family and Pte Odoki. Another witness, Ms Norah Alanyo, a sister to Ms Atima, testified that she also witnessed Okot shoot people dead.

Meanwhile, Brig. Tolit has set 21 days for the trial of the soldier and court will be working for three days every week. The case resumes today.