KAMPALA – The court of appeal has upheld the acquittal of Sarah Nabikolo who had been accused of the murder of her husband, a Kampala businessman Eria Ssebunya Bugembe alias Kasiwukira.
The three justices led by Elizabeth Musoke have unanimously resolved to dismiss the DPP’s appeal challenging the acquittal of Nabikolo; saying they too are in agreement with the High court that the evidence adduced linking Nabikolo to the murder of Kasiwukira was wanting, inconclusive and merely creating suspicion in the mind of the Judge.
Other Justices handling this case include; Helen Obura and Ezekiel Muhanguzi.
In their verdict read to court by Deputy Registrar Mr Jessy Byaruhanga; the justices noted that neither of the prosecution witnesses at trial made any direct reference to Nabikolo as one of the persons who were involved in the plan or actually murdered the deceased
The justices ruled that the circumstantial evidence sought to be relied upon by the prosecution to connect Nabikolo to the murder was farfetched and could not be relied upon to irresistibly point to the guilt of Nabikolo.
The justices based on testimonies of the prosecution witnesses including a brother to the late Kasuwukira; John Gayi Bugembe to the effect that Nabikolo had a strained relationship with her husband which could have motivated the murder , a voice recording suggesting that Nabikolo promised to pay Shs50 million to the executor of the murder mission and the testimony of a Boda -boda rider who testified that he was hired by the late Kasiwukira to trail Nabikolo whenever she visited a native Doctor.
However, according to the justices having re-evaluated the said pieces of evidence, they have established that they do not In any way link Nabikolo to the said murder and hence have set her free.
“The voices refer to ‘Madame’ and do not find it reasonable to presume that the person being referred to is the respondent (Nabikolo). Prosecution Witness 20 (Richard Byamukama) testified that Jaden Ashraf talked of madam whom he thought was Ms Kasiwukira. This was inconclusive evidence since suspicion cannot be based upon to support a conviction,” court ruled.
After Nabikolo’s acquittal in 2016; the DPP appealed while faulting trial judge Wilson Masalu Musene of failing to properly evaluate the evidence adduced and hence reached a wrong conclusion of only convicting her sister Sandra Nakungu and a police officer; Jayden Ashiraf.
Ms Nabikolo through her lawyer MacDusman Kabega asked court to dismiss the appeal saying it was incompetent since it was filed out of time and that there was no eye witness who identified Ms Nabikolo as one of the killers of the deceased.
However, both Nakungu and Jayden have also since appealed against their conviction and 20-year jail term handed to each of them for Kasiwukira murder which prosecution contends was disguised as a fatal car accident.
The duo’s appeal, although heard on the same date March 29, 2019, with that of Nabikolo’s their judgment is still pending.
The deceased’s lifeless body was found by passers-by on the morning of October 17, 2014, lying by the roadside a few meters away from his home in Muyenga which he had just left for a fitness jogging exercise.