Government given ultimatum to respond to ex-MP Kipoi case

Mr Tonny Kipoi Nsubuga

KAMPALA- Court has given government a seven day ultimatum to defend a case in which jailed former Member of Parliament for Bubulo West, Mr Tonny Kipoi Nsubuga is challenging his detention in a military prison.

Mr Kipoi is on remand over alleged treason before the General Court Martial at Makindye.

He is accused of recruiting people into rebel activities.

He is jointly charged with five UPDF soldiers; Sgt Albino Okeng, Sgt Yunus Lemeriga, L/Cpl Adams Mawa and L/Cpl Rogers Mweru formerly attached to the Armoured Brigade headquarters in Masaka District as well as Private Saidi Dodola formerly attached to the elite Special Forces Command.

High Court Judge Musa Sekaana on Monday gave government the seven day ultimatum and fixed hearing of the case for June 18 this year.

Through his lawyers, Mr Kipoi sued the Attorney General (AG), the Director of Public prosecutions (DPP), the UPDF Chief of Defence forces and the commanding officer in charge of Makindye Military Barracks.

The accused parties are required to explain why Mr Kipoi, a civilian is being detained in a military detention facility and why he should not be released.

On March 19 this year, the Army Court remanded Mr Kipoi to Luzira Upper Prison but he was subsequently transferred to Makindye Military Prison.

Mr Kipoi has since vainly objected to the jurisdiction of the army court to try him arguing that he is a civilian.
He alleges that the offences against him were dismissed by the High Court after the DPP withdrew the same charges in December 2013.

“The detention of the applicant (Kipoi), a civilian in Makindye Barracks is illegal. The institution of proceedings in a court Martial by DPP is unconstitutional,” the application reads in part.

He wants the High court to declare his detention in the military prison unconstitutional and to quash the pending trial before the army court.

The former MP who was extradited last month from Botswana after a 2014 arrest warrant when he escaped through Democratic Republic of Congo.

Prosecution case
Prosecution alleges that between November 2012 and December 2013 in diverse places in Kampala, Wakiso, Masaka, Nakasongola, Fort Portal, Jinja and Ntoroko Districts, Mr Kipoi convened meetings to recruit soldiers with intent to prejudice the security of the defence forces.

Earlier warrant
In 2014, the army court ordered the arrest of Mr Kipoi after his case file and his co-accused was shifted to the military court two months after the treason case was withdrawn from the civil court for lack of evidence.
In February 2014, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, the government’s chief prosecutor, withdrew the treason charges against the accused.

The prosecution had alleged that Mr Kipoi held a meeting with DR Congo rebels and UPDF soldiers in a guest house in Kabarole District in Uganda with the intention of arming them to overthrow the government of Uganda.
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