Army court remands Bobi Wine supporters for more seven days

Bobi Wine supporters at the General Court Martial during hearing of their bail application on May 17, 2021. PHOTO / ABUBAKER LUBOWA

The General Court Martial has given prosecution up to May 25 to respond to the bail application by 36 detained members of the opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) led by former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine. 

The group that is seeking bail for the third time was first arraigned last year before the army court on allegations of illegal possession of a gun and bullets.

They include; Hassan Ssemakula alias Abdu Solider, Kenny Kyalimpa, Robinson Mudde Ntambi, Lukeman Mwijjukye alias Kampala, William Nyanzi alias Mboggo, Muhammad Nsubuga alias Edobozi, Ali Buken alias Nubian Li, Edward Ssebufu alias Eddie Mutwe, Adam Matovu, Shakira Namboozo alias Suki, Ibra Tamale, Muzafalu Mwanga alias Main Gate Muwa, Stanley Kafuko alias Kysta, Achileo Kivumbia and Geoffrey Onzima alias Tower.

Others are Anthony Agaba alias Bobi Young, Robert Kivumbi alias Mighty Family, Samson Ssebiranda alias Giant, Sharif Najja alias Don Sharif, Brain Ssemanda alias Dictator Museveni must go, Robert Katumba, Charles Mpanga, Geoffrey Mutalya, Geserwa Kyabagu alias Pympah, Baker Kalyango, Faisal Kigongo alias Ras Fazo, Musa Mulimira, Sam Mutumba alias Papa Sam, Richard Kalema alias Ricardo, Alex Karamagi alias Dog City Kadogo, Daniel Oyerwot alias Dan Magic, Hussein Mukasa alias Oshea, John Bosco Sunday alias JB, Isma Muganga alias Jaja Isma, Fahad Tamale and Bashir Murusha.

Appearing before Makindye based army court, the suspects through their lawyer Anthony Wameli argued that bail is a constitutional right and that they have sureties and fixed places of abode within the jurisdiction of court.

Mr Wameli asked the court to consider the long period (four months) spent on remand and that some of the suspects are sick and need specialized treatment.

The suspects are part of the 49 who were arrested on December 30, 2020 in Kalangala District, arraigned before the chief magistrate at Masaka on January 2021 where they were granted bail. However, they were re-arrested and detained at the Makindye Military backs for days before they were charged afresh and remanded to Kitalya prison.

Early this year, the army court chaired by Lt Gen. Andrew Gutti denied them bail on suspicion they would continue to incite violence if released on bail.

“The accused, if released on bail, will continue to incite violence,” said Gen Gutti before directing prosecution to speed up investigations into the case for the trial to begin.

The Court decision was based on the submissions by court prosecutor Capt Ambrose Baguma who said the suspects should not be granted bail because of “their violent conduct towards police officers, which is likely to continue is granted bail.”

Prosecution case

The suspects are accused of unlawful possession of ammunition contrary to the Firearms Act. However, they deny any wrong doing.

Prosecution at the Army Court alleges that on January 3 this year while at Makerere- Kavule, Kiggundu Zone in Kawempe Division, Kampala, the group was found in unlawful possession of four rounds of  live ammunition of AK47 which are ordinarily a monopoly of the defence forces.