Unknown assailants forcefully entered the premises of lawyer Evans Ochieng’s renowned law firm, “Ochieng Associated Advocates and Solicitors,” situated in Kimera, Ntinda, a suburb of Kampala. The intrusion resulted in extensive damage to property and the theft of several case files, causing a temporary suspension of legal proceedings planned for the day.
Norah Norris Ichom, a managing partner at the firm, reported a disruptive situation on Monday, with the firm unable to pursue scheduled cases due to the break-in. The criminals absconded with seven laptops, crucial files, a monitor, and a television, crippling the firm’s operations.
Lawyer Jordan Paul Asodio and Ronald Mutasa, among the first staff members to arrive at the office on Monday, promptly filed a theft report at the Ntinda Police Station under reference number 10/04/12/2023.
Confirming the incident, Deputy Police Spokesperson for Kampala Metropolitan Area, Luke Owoyesigyire, assured the public of an upcoming statement regarding the break-in.
Uganda Radio Network observed shattered doors and broken windows at the law firm, with scattered documents left in disarray by the intruders inside the chambers.
Despite the loss of several physical files, the lawyers have identified the absence of the file belonging to Kampala District Land Board Chairperson, Lawyer David Balondemu. This particular file, pertinent to his recent bail granted during his admission to the Luzira prison health facility, is among the missing documents.
Acknowledging the setback, the legal team is currently regrouping to resume their professional obligations.
Ochieng Associated Advocates and Solicitors, led by Evans Ochieng, an associate of Lawyer Caleb Alaka, is notably recognized for representing high-profile individuals accused of serious crimes. Their clientele includes defendants such as Mathew Kanyamunyu, convicted of manslaughter in the case of children’s activist Akena’s death, Pine Car Bond proprietor Muhammad Ssebuwufu found guilty of murdering businesswoman Betty Donah Katusabe, as well as suspected leaders of militant groups like the Allied Democratic Forces and the Lord’s Resistance Army.
This law firm has also represented individuals involved in the 2010 bombing incident in Lugogo and Kabalagala, where over 70 people lost their lives while watching the World Cup Finals.
Office break-ins are unfortunately common occurrences in Kampala City. In March 2021, Chapter Four Uganda, a non-profit organization led by lawyer Nicholas Opiyo, fell victim to a similar theft of computers.
Notably, in 2016, perpetrators suspected to be from the Uganda Police Force broke into lawyer Muhammad Mbabazi’s Wandegeya office, seizing documents related to Amama Mbabazi’s presidential election petition, along with laptops and computers.
Additionally, NGO offices, government premises like KCCA offices in 2020, and entities like the Federation of Motorsport Clubs of Uganda (FMU) in October 2023, have all been targeted by these criminal acts.
Despite these repeated incidents, conclusive investigations by law enforcement into these office break-ins have yielded no results.
Ichom mentioned the absence of CCTV cameras on the premises and noted that the last security guard was present about two weeks prior to the break-in