Military police called into action as Court Martial denies NUP supporters bail

Some of the NUP Supporters seeking Bail Before the Court Martial. FILE PHOTO

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Military Police were called in to calm the General Court Martial in Makindye, after  the bail application for 28 supporters of the National Unity Platform (NUP) was has for the third timedismissed. The 28 are facing trial of unlawful possession of ammunition.

Immediately after the ruling of the Court ,  the group together with their relatives turned rowdy prompting the calling of military police to re-enforce security at the Court premises.

The decision to deny bail angered the suspects prompting one of them Muydin Kakooza commonly known as Saanya to jump out of the dock to pursue and charge at the court’s chairman.

Muhydin was later lifted out of the court hall by military police and locked in a waiting military van where he continued to shout on top of his voice attracting the attention of his relatives. This is the second time Muhydin charges at the court martial Chairperson protesting the long stay on remand on bailable offenses.

The relatives of the accused person together with their sureties condemned the Court ruling saying it is a violation of the accused person’s right to liberty. The accused persons have now been further remanded until May 6th, 2024 for the prosecution to present their seventh witness.

Earlier, the seven member Panel of the Court chaired by Brigadier Robert Mugabe on Monday denied the supporters bail on grounds that they did not prove that they have fixed places of abode in the court’s jurisdiction.

Although the Court has found the sureties of the accused persons who included politicians such as the Leader of Opposition in Parliament Joel Ssenyonyi to be substantial, they couldn’t be released on the basis that they are most likely to abscond once granted bail.

“In the premises, this court finds no merit in the application and declines to grant bail to the applicants. The application is hereby dismissed. Court orders an expeditious trial of the applicants in the main case,” we so rule. This was the third time that the Court is denying bail to the group.

The accused, including Yasin Ssekitoleko alias Machete, Robert Christopher Rugumayo, Patrick Mwase, Simon Kikaabe, Muhydin Kakooza, Olivia Lutaaya, Abdu Matovu, Ronald Kijambo, Sharif Kalanzi, Joseph Muwonge, Mesach Kiwanuka, Abdalla Kintu, Umar Emma Kato, and Musa Kavuma, are alleged to have been found in illegal possession of 13 pieces of explosive devices between November 2020 and May 2021 in areas of Jinja, Mbale, Kireka, Nakulabye, Kawempe, Natete, and Kampala Central.

Initially, this group had 32 people. However, in April 2023 when the court heard their second bail application, it released only four of their co accused whom court found that they had substantial sureties.

The remaining 28 supporters have been on remand in Kitalya and Luzira prisons since May 2021. The accused persons were arrested by CMI operatives after the Police accused them of plotting to carry out petrol bomb attacks targeting government vehicles and buildings in various places in the country.

Police claimed that the suspects masterminded attacks on Kasubi Royal tombs, on former Jinja resident city commissioner Eric Sakwa in Nakulabye, on Uganda Registration Services Bureau, and the Katwe Police station, among others. They were reportedly planning to block President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni from swearing in for his sixth term of office.

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