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Former MP Odonga Otto wanted over robbery, torture of charcoal dealers

During the incident, it is reported that the group assaulted the victims using sticks and pangas, and allegedly robbed cash 1,097,700/= (One million ninety-seven thousand, seven hundred shillings) only from Ssemanda Charles.

A screengrab from a video shows former Aruu County MP Odonga Otto inciting youths to assault the charcoal dealers (Photo/Courtesy)

PADER, UGANDA: Police in Aswa Region has launched a serious manhunt for former Aruu county MP Odonga Otto and a group of vigilantes over accusation of aggravated robbery and torture of civilians in Pader district.

Police Spokesperson Enanga Fred in a police statement on Tuesday evening said MP Otto and the rowdy youths armed with pangas and sticks were on Sunday, April 30 at around 3:30 pm captured on video viciously beating three victims who had gone to buy charcoal in one of the homesteads in Laorogali village, Atanga sub-county, in Pader district.

Enanga identified the three victims as; Ssemanda Charles, Wagwana Yusuf and Takafa Erisata who had loaded 12 bags of charcoal in their Fuso truck registration number UBA 600B.

During the incident, it is reported that the group assaulted the victims using sticks and pangas, and allegedly robbed cash 1,097,700/= (One million ninety-seven thousand, seven hundred shillings) only from Ssemanda Charles.

“They also vandalised the Fuso truck and stole two motor vehicle batteries, a motor vehicle radio, woofer, motor vehicle key and tarpaulin. The attackers further damaged the windscreen, the fuel tank and the tyres of the Fuso truck,” said Enanga,

Enanga added that the victims were later released and went on to report the matter at the Atanga police station which launched a serious manhunt for the MP and all those who participated in the torture by caning and beating.

Police also highlighted that the same group had earlier attacked another civilian identified as Olara Charles Okello, after he was found buying firewood while in his motor vehicle registration number UAP 516D, along Lapul- Atanga road in Atanga sub-county.

In the same incident, the attackers robbed the victims of their phones and other belongings, and they reported the matter at the Pajule police station.

“Although the Hon. Odonga Otto and his vigilantes claim they are an advocacy group, that is enforcing a ban on commercial trade in Acholi Sub-region, their level of physical interaction is not only reckless and dangerous but can lead to hate crimes in society,” Enanga warned.

“We, therefore, urge the former lawmaker to avoid taking the law in his hands and misleading other members of the public, into acts of lawlessness and impunity” Enanga added.

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