By Fred Kiva
The Military Court (Unit Disciplinary Committee-UDC) sitting in Mbuya on Friday committed Bodaboda 2010 leader Abdullah Kitatta and his twelve co-accused to the General Court Martial for trial.
Kitatta and his co-accused were arrested by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) over their alleged involvement in the murder of Case Hospital Accountant Francis Ekalungar on January 2, 2018. Ekalungar was reportedly murdered on his way to bank Shs15million Hospital funds and his body burnt in Kajjansi.
Kitatta was arrested on January 20, a day after CMI had apprehended his young brother, Huzairu Kiwalabye over the kidnap and killing of Ekalungar. However, police later exonerated Kitatta and his group of the murder charges.
Kitatta’s co-accused include Sowali Ngobi, Amon Twinomujuni, Joel Kibirige, Matia Ssenfuka, Hassan Ssebata, Johnson Kayondo, Hassan Ssengoba, Sunday Ssemogerere, John Ssebandeke, Hussein Mugema, Fred Bwanika and Ibrahim Ssekaja.
Although they were exonerated by police, the army has since slapped them with a number of charges and have been on remand since January 29th at Kigo Prison. The accused face four criminal charges of failure to protect war material contrary to section 122(1) and (2)h and (i) of the UPDF Act 2005.They also face another charge of unlawful possession of military stores contrary to Section 161 of the UPDF Act.
“The four criminal offenses attract a maximum sentence of death, while one attracts life imprisonment respectively,” said Deputy Defense Spokesperson Lt Col Deo Akiiki.
Kitatta and his group were committed to the General Court Martial for formal trial on Friday.This is because the charges against them are of capital nature, not triable by the Military Court (Unit Disciplinary Committee).The accused were further remanded to Kigo Prison until the General Court Martial schedules date for their trial.
It’s alleged that Kitatta and his co-accused were found in possession of two pistols (Serial no.UGPOL00753421813 and DEPOIDEAS2008 and a Submachine Gun (SMG) Serial No.UE4467/1998, which weapons are a monopoly of the defense forces. The group was also found with 30 rounds of loose ammunition.