Key murder suspect commits suicide in Bukedea police cells

BUKEDEA, UGANDA: A murder suspect has allegedly committed suicide inside Bukedea police cells and the other died under mysterious circumstances in a search with the police.

The two were suspects in the murder of Francis Opolot that occurred on Christmas in Akunyuko village, Kachumbala sub-county in Bukedea district.

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The deceased are Joseph Okwalinga and Michael Okwakol. Okwalinga was found hanging in the cells at Bukedea Central Police Station while Okwakol is reported to have fainted and died during a search at Akunyuko village where Opolot was killed.
Okwakol is a brother and key suspect in the murder of Opolot who was hacked to death at his home.

Oscar Gregory Ageca, the East Kyoga Regional Police Spokesman says that Okwakol was with the police when he fainted while conducting a search to recover exhibits at Akunyuko village.

He says that attempts to resuscitate Okwakol were futile. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital where he was rushed for medical attention.

Ageca says that the two incidents occurred simultaneously around lunch hours on Saturday.
He adds that the two deceased suspects are among the seven suspects arrested by officers of the Uganda police in the murder of Opolot over the alleged land-related wrangle.

“The Uganda Police Force has opened up inquiries into the two matters of suicide and sudden death respectively. This has entailed a postmortem for Okwalinga Joseph, to be carried out at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital and a death inquest that was carried out on 02/01/2022 by the Magistrate of the judicial jurisdiction here referred”, Ageca adds in his press release.

Adding, “We also want to allay fears and insinuations of foul play such as that the suspects were shot, poisoned etc as the matter has been professionally handled by our officers, who investigated the murder in a logical sequence which enabled the arrest of suspects and have admirably and professionally handled the deaths of the suspects as noted above.”

Bukedea Resident District Commission-RDC, Geoffrey Okiswa identifies the remaining suspects in police custody as Justine Ekuma, James Olupot, Samuel Opolot, Peter Ekuma, and Paul Angura.

Okiswa adds that the police have recovered more exhibits including panga and other weapons allegedly used to hack Opolot.

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