14 February 2018

Uganda: Court Orders Aguma's Release

Kampala — The High Court has ordered the release of former commandant of Police Professional Standards Unit, Joel Aguma from Makindye Military Barracks and payment of Shs200m to him in damages.

"It is hereby ordered that the applicant should be released from Makindye Police Barracks as the GCM [General Court Martial] acted illegally when it exceeded its jurisdiction... Court is also inclined to grant the applicant damages of up to Shs200m," Justice Margaret Oguli Oumo ordered.

The order followed an application filed by Mr Aguma's lawyers Caleb Alaka and Evans Ochieng before the High Court stating that their client is not subject to military law as he is a serving senior commissioner of police who cannot be said to be in unlawful possession of arms and ammunition.

No case

To that effect, Justice Oumo ruled: "The applicant was not supposed to be subject to the military laws and charged in possession of military equipment. The applicant is a police officer authorised to carry arms in performance of his duties ...."

"Besides, if he was in illegal possession [of firearms], there is a Police Council under Section 10 of the Police Act which exercises the disciplinary control over police officers," the judge added.

Aguma was last year charged with kidnapping and repatriating two Rwandans.

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