HIGH COURT – Justice Musa Ssekaana of the High Court Civil Division has ordered the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) to produce the body of the arrested former director crime intelligence in the Uganda Police Force Col Atwooki Ndahura Birakurataki dead or alive in court.
The order followed an application that was filed by Ms Sarah Ndahura the wife to Col Ndahura (applicant) accusing the army for unjustly depriving him of his personal liberty in a manner contrary to article 23 (6) (a) of the constitution.
“The applicant has not been produced in any court or tribunal, this is a proper case where court should issue a habeas corpus ordering the persons holding the body of the applicant to produce it in court. The court accordingly issues an habeas corpus and the same shall return on July 2,” Justice Ssekaana ruled.
The judge also noted that the applicant was arrested on June 11, 2018 and according to the affidavit of his wife Ms Ndahura, he was transferred to Makindye Military Barracks, he has since not been allowed to see any family members, lawyers and doctors.
The family through their lawyer Ochienge Associated Advocates filed an habeas corpus in court after armed forces led by Major General Okiding the commandant UPDF artillery Masindi Barracks arrested him on June 11, from Peace Corner Motel in Masindi Town.
A habeas corpus application is made in court seeking a person under detention to be brought before a judge or magistrate especially to secure that person’s release unless lawful grounds are shown to justify their continued incarceration.
The respondents in this case include; AG, CMI, Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF).
In her sworn affidavit, Mrs Ndahura claims her husband who is no stranger to controversy having been variously named in election violence reports in 2001 is being held incommunicado and has not been produced in any court or charged in any competent court or given access to his family members, lawyers and doctors.
“I am advised by my lawyers whose advice I verily believe to be true that this court has powers to grant the reliefs sought and also to summon the IGP, CMI and CDF to explain the whereabouts of Lt Col Ndahura,” she asserts.
“I believe the life of Lt Col Ndahura is in danger unless court intervenes,” Ms Ndahura added. Lt Col Ndahura is among the 26 people, including police and military officers, who have been arrested as investigators cast wide the dragnet to catch suspects involved in criminal activities during the 12 odd years of Gen Kale Kayihura as head of the police force.