ARUA/ KAMPALA – Police have failed to produce before court the vehicle belonging to Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine, and other items recovered from his colleagues when they were arrested during the chaos preceding the Arua Municipality by-election.
The court, had on request of the accused’s lawyers, summoned the police detectives to explain allegations that some of the items confiscated from Bobi Wine and his colleagues during the August 2018 violence were being misused by the security operatives.
Appearing before Gulu Magistrate’s Court presided over by Mr Isaac Imran Kintu on Thursday, Arua District CID boss Davis Nsambu, West Nile Regional Police CID Herbert Wanyoto and former Gulu District CID Ronald Were did not account for all the items the Force confiscated from the MPs and others arrested during the violence.
Mr Nsambu, in his submission, told court that a Toyota Tundra, Registration Number UAT 416A and a Toyota Klugger UAU 918N belonging to Bobi Wine were confiscated from the scene of crime, arguing that they were abandoned by the owners who are still in charge.
He said, therefore, they cannot be returned to the owners until the drivers are found and charged.
Mr Wanyoto, in his submission, revealed that some of the phones confiscated from the legislators are now being kept at the Police Forensic Department as exhibits. He, however, explained that they have passwords, which has delayed their investigation.
“We pray to court to give orders allowing the accused persons provide their passwords and thumb prints to help in investigating the matter,” he told court.
Mr Wanyoto also noted that the police had already returned some of confiscated properties to the owners such as a vehicle, registration number UAX354E, which belonged to Herbert Ariko, the Soroti Legislator, but was being driven by Ntungamo Municipality MP Gerald Karuhanga. Mr Wanyoto also added that Motor vehicle registration UAX072Y has been returned to Mr Paul Mwiru, the Jinja East legislator.
Bu the defence lawyer, Mr Tony Kitara, hit back, accusing the detectives of not informing court where other items, including cash, jewelries, watches, handbags and knickers are being kept.
Mr Komakech Henry Kilama, another defence lawyer, also asked court to grant orders to telecom giants Airtel and MTN Uganda to make printouts of phone call records, arguing that their clients’ phones which are still in police custody were used by unknown persons to contact people close to them.
In response, Magistrate Kintu agreed with the defence lawyers, noting that the submissions by the police officers were lacking in nature as they do not detail where the exhibits are kept and their actual owners. The magistrate gave 30 days for the police detectives to re-submit the exhibits .
Mr Kintu said he will rule on the matter on a date agreeable by both defence and State. He adjourned the main treason case to July 4.