10 January 2018

Uganda: Police Chiefs Protest Detention

Kampala — The Head of the Economic Crimes Desk at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (CID) has petitioned the Director Legal Affairs in the police seeking his release from jail.

Mr John Dhabangi was arrested with CID cybercrime expert Mr Bill Ndamuhaki last Thursday at the police Professional Standards Unit (PSU) base in Naguru, Kampala, and locked up at Railways Police Station.

They were arrested on the orders of the head of PSU, Mr Good Mwesigwa, after a story was published in the media on December 23 that Nigerian suspects in bank robbery had gone missing from police custody.

On January 8, the officers wrote to the CID Directorate of Legal Affairs denying any wrongdoing. They said they acted without bias to release on bond the suspects who had been arrested on a charge of electronic fraud.

"We hereby pray that your office intervenes in this matter and have us released," their petition reads in part.

Talking to Daily Monitor by telephone yesterday, Mr Ndamuhaki admitted he granted the suspects bond but said he acted in accordance with the procedure.

"There was no complainant on the file and since we were going for public holidays, I released the three suspects on bond. Since then they have been reporting," said Mr Ndamuhaki, who signed their bond.

He said the suspects' arrest had been done prematurely.

Abdulhazeez Gami Yoni and Steve Ayorinde Akincade, both Nigerians, and Ugandans Twaha Kabuye and Seguya Jibb were released on bond on December 20, 2017.

The two Nigerians deposited their passports with the police. They also presented two sureties each and undertook to report back to police when required to answer charges of electronic fraud and unauthorised access.

According to bond forms, the suspects had since reported to police on December 27, January 2 and were to report back yesterday.

The two senior officers are being investigated by PSU under a General Inquiry for alleged mismanagement of the suspects' case and misconduct in their release.

The Cybercrimes Desk yesterday summoned the four suspects who were handed over to PSU.

Speaking to Daily Monitor, Police spokesperson Emirian Kayima could not give details about the detention of Dhabangi and Ndamuhaki but said they had issues to answer although he had not met the PSU boss for an official response.

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