Court Martial to Contest Aguma Release Order

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In short
In her judgement, Justice Oguli concurred with Aguma, saying his trial for the same offenses in the court martial amounts to double jeopardy given the fact that he was tried by another wing of an Armed Force. She therefore directed the army court to hand over the police officer to the Police Professional Standards Unit for investigations and appropriate action.

The Uganda People's Defense Forces- UPDF General Court Martial is to contest a High Court directive ordering the compensation and release of Joel Aguma, the former Commandant of the Police Professional Standards Unit (PSU). 

Last week, High Court Judge, Margret Oguli Oumo directed the General Court Martial through the Attorney General to drop all the charges against Aguma and pay him Shilling 200million. Aguma was arraigned before the court martial three months ago together with seven other for illegally repatriating Rwandan nations and possession of military weapons.

However, Aguma petitioned High court, saying his triable before the court amounts to double jeopardy since he was tried by the police council for the same offenses. In his sworn affidavit, Aguma argued that he was thoroughly investigated, tried and sentenced to caution by the Police Council.

In her judgement, Justice Oguli concurred with Aguma, saying his trial for the same offenses in the court martial amounts to double jeopardy given the fact that he was tried by another wing of an Armed Force. She therefore directed the army court to hand over the police officer to the Police Professional Standards Unit for investigations and appropriate action.

However, the army is yet to comply with the judgement. Agume is still holed up in Makindye military police barracks.  But the UPDF Deputy Spokesperson, Lt. Deo Akiiki, insists the Court Martial has complied with the court order in relationship to the cases of kidnap.

"We will appeal the decision on the kidnap case since court based its decision on a judicial review that apply to only a public body and not to an established court like the General Court Martial,"  Lt Col Akiiki told Uganda Radio Network.

He also said they will appeal the compensation of Shillings 200 million give to Agume by the High court. "It should also be noted that, legally, "sociari mandamus prohibison" type of cases, under which the order was issued do not attract costs and therefore it was inconsistent to award aguma any costs," Lt Col Akiiki said.

He also disclosed that the army has other cases against Aguma. "The General Court Martial has other charges against Aguma different from those he has been exonerated from by the Court, which it will continue hearing," he said.  

The other suspects include the former head of the Special Operations Unit, Nixon Agasirwe, Faisal Katende and Sgt Abel Tumukunde, both Flying Squad operatives, James Magada  from the Crime Intelligence, Amon Kwarisima, Rene Rutangira, a Rwandan National and Bahati Mugenga, a Congolese National.



They are accused of kidnapping Lt Joel Mutabazi, a former bodyguard of the Rwandan President Paul Kagame who had come to Uganda as a refugee together with Jackson Kalemire and handing them over to the Rwandan government unlawfully 

 

About the author

Dear Jeanne
Dear Jeanne is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Jeanne has been a URN staff member since 2014.

Jeanne started out as a political and crime reporter for NBS television in 2010. She went on to become a news director at the station before leaving in 2012 to join The Daily Monitor as an investigative reporter in 2012.

Jeanne is ambitious to improve her investigative reporting skills. Jeanne’s focus for much of her five year career has been to report on crime and security.