ADJUMANI, UGANDA: The Adjumani Grade One Magistrate Jude Kamaganga has today April 19, 2023, remanded the Madi Paramount Chief Drani Stephen to Openzinzi prison after he was charged with seven counts of attempted murder and three counts of assault.
Reading the charges to the accused Chief Drani in a sparsely attended court session, state prosecution alleged that on the 10th day of April 2023, Chief Drani and others at large in Ngoro West village, Aliwara Parish in Itirikwa sub-county attempted to cause the death of Anzoa Juliet on count one.
On the other counts prosecution further alleges the same accused person and others still at large attempted to cause the death of six other persons that includes; Lokua Beatrice, Tabuga Zackary and Galumbwe Ismael others are Gule Afiza and Butele Habib.
On the second charge of assault, the prosecution alleged that on the 10th of April, Chief Drani and others still at large unlawfully assaulted Ijotre Sadik, Drichi Siraje and Ababiku Flavia occasioning bodily harm one count one, two and three respectively.
Counsel Walea Sophie of Legal Aid Clinic Adjumani branch appeared for Chief Drani but Magistrate grade one Jude Kamaganga advised the accused chief not to enter any plea since his court lacks the jurisdiction to try the case.
He adjourned the case till May 5, 2023, when the accused person will appear to take plea before Moyo chief magistrate and that is when he will apply for bail pending the disposal of the case.
Earlier on the court adjourned prematurely on the request of the resident state attorney to allow him to amend the charge since the two other accused persons Major Trevor Kibuuka will be tried in UPDF 4th military court martial in Gulu.
Major. Kibuuka was arrested reportedly yesterday from Zoka C barracks on orders of the 4th division commander brigadier after he was accused of torturing two women and five others in Ngoro area.
However, when contacted the 4th division public information officer Major Telesphur Byamumanya said he is not aware of the arrest of Major Trevor Kibuuka but investigations into the alleged torturer of women in Adjumani is on and when it is concluded the public will be informed.
Pressed if the reported arrest is part of the investigations Major Telesphur responded “Don’t force words into my mouth I don’t know of any arrest of a UPDF Major”.
After the court session Mr Njima Bob, a Kampala-based Madi elder and human rights observer expressed dissatisfaction with the UPDF leadership for amending the charge that exonerated Major Trevor Kibuuku from being tried in civilian court.
Mr Njima said he is skeptical of the decision of the UPDF administration which accordingly is aimed at shielding Major Trevor from appearing before the temple of justice when the people of Adjumani very much wants to see him appear in Adjumani as proof of fair administration of justice.
Chief Drani Stephen Izakari was arrested over Easter Sunday violence on Apaa land where it is alleged that the Chief incited a group of people who mobilised and tortured the locals in the area, and burnt houses.
The Madi paramount chief was summoned to police on Monday to record a statement and later released on bond after presenting competent sureties.
According to North West Nile Police Spokesperson Mr Ignatius Dragudu, police had preferred to charge the paramount chief with four counts of attempted murder, torture, rape and arson.
The Adjumani LC5 chairperson Ben Anyama in a statement said the chief and a soldier at the rank of a major were arrested over the violence in Apaa.
He said the chief is accused of inciting a group of attackers from Madi who allegedly inserted sticks into the private parts of women and tortured several people who are currently nursing injuries and getting treatment at Adjumani General Hospital.
The said incident happened in Aliwara village, Ngoro West area, Itirikua sub-county in Adjumani.
West Nile Police region spokesperson Josephine Angucia on Wednesday said victims of the alleged torture are currently getting treatment at Adjumani general hospital.
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