Lawyers Of Boda Boda 2010 Suspects Insist on Acquittal
Lawyers of Boda Boda 2010 Association suspects have asked the General court martial to acquit their clients.
The suspects are Abdullah Kitatta, Amon Twinomujuni, John ssebandeke, Fred Bwanika, Hassan Sebata, Matia Ssenfuka, Hussein Mugema, Ibrahim Ssekaja, Joel Kibirige and Sowali Ngobi.
The group is jointly with illegal possession of fire arms and military stores contrary to the Uganda People’s Defense Forces Act, 2005.
On Monday morning, the suspect through their lawyer, Shaban Sanywa asked court presided over by Lt. General Andrew Gutti to acquit them on grounds that there was no direct evidence linking them to the charges.
Sanywa contends that prosecution relied on circumstantial evidence since the suspects were arrested by the military, which has also prosecuted them.
According to encyclopedia Britannica, circumstantial evidence in law is evidence that is not drawn from direct observation of a fact in an issue.
Sanywa argues that the fact that the army picked up and tried the suspects shows lack of independence in the trial since only military officers are involved.
Sanywa says if prosecution had brought other witnesses like civilians, the Manager Vine Hotel where the suspects were picked up and CCTV footage, court would have been able to know whether the suspects were found in possession of military items presented in court as exhibit.
He also says prosecution led by Lt. Col. Raphael Mugisha failed to produce a ballistic report to confirm that the suspects indeed touched the said weapons or they were planted on them.
Sanywa also said there was no investigating officer in the matter, which means that no proper investigations were done.
He also argued that the guns and military uniforms were picked from the Boda Boda 2010 offices in Wakaliga when the suspects were already in custody.
Sanywa further states that the Boda Boda 2010 offices are in Kawempe not Wakaliga as the prosecution alleges.
The suspects were arrested from various places in Rubaga division including Wakaliga and Vine tea Hotel between January 19th and 21st 2018.
Prosecution contends that they were found with 55 rounds of ammunition, a black and a golden pistol, sub machine gun and military caps and uniforms.
The suspects who have been in jail since their arrest will return to court on May 6th 2019 for the Judge Advocate Col. Richard Tukachungurwa to sum up the case before a judgment date is set.
The Judge Advocate will basically review the evidence before court and guide the panel regarding points of law.