By Fred Kiva
The Military Court (Unit Disciplinary Committee-UDC) is sitting behind closed doors, as Bodaboda2010 leader Abdallah Kitatta and his twelve co-accused re-appear on Friday. All journalists have been blocked from accessing the court proceedings at Mbuya, with the army saying they could not be allowed in because it’s not an open court.
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 the Case Hospital accountant. Some of 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.
Police Spokesperson Emilian Kayima however later said that according to investigations, Kitatta was not involved in the murder.
The suspects are facing different charges before the military court martial and have since January 29th been on remand 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 appear for further mention of their case, since the charges against them are of capital nature, not triable by the Military Court (Unit Disciplinary Committee) and for this reason the group has never entered plea.
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.