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Gulu Attack: Army Prosecutors Withdraw Charges Against LC Chairperson, 17 Others Remanded

The charges were instituted against Okello in 2016 together with 17 others following a botched attack on Opit Army Detach and Central Police Station in Gulu District, which claimed the lives of two soldiers, four Policemen and left scores injured.
Okello Patrick Ajuru together with Kilak South Member of Parliament Gilbert Olanya at Court Martial in Makindye on Tuesday

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Military Prosecutors have dropped the charges of murder and grievous harm against Patrick Okello Ajuru, the former Bana LC I Chairperson in Pailyec Parish Amuru Sub Country in Amuru District.      

The charges were instituted against Okello in 2016 together with 17 others following a botched attack on Opit Army Detach and Central Police Station in Gulu District, which claimed the lives of two soldiers, four Policemen and left scores injured.

  

The other suspects are Richard Okech, Alfred Odongpiny ,Goeffrey Komakech, Patrick Komakech, Charles Onen, Richard Onen alias Munu Opegu, Opiro Thomasa Opiyo, Odokonyero Charles Ochola, Ochola Vincent Ocen alias Denis Okema, Howard Openjeru Jomax alias  Engineer,  Private Fred Okidi Opio Layika, Robert Okot  alias Oluca, Private Charles Omwony Bua, Bongomin Tito, Kenneth Otto, Ojok Sam Obama and Charles Opio alias Olici. 

On Tuesday, the accused persons appeared before the UPDF General Court Martial chaired by Lt, General Andrew Gutti where hearing of their case was supposed to commence. Prosecution alleges that Okello, his co accused and others still at large while at Gulu Central Police Station on June 12th, 2016 with malice aforethought caused the unlawful death of Corporal Amos Edema and Assistant Superintendent of Police, Amos Masaba.  

It is also alleged that on May 27th 2016 while at Opit Army Detach in Gulu District, the accused persons with malice aforethought caused the unlawful death of Private Alphonse Ojara and Okullo Haggai. They were also charged with causing grievous harm to Privates Dickens Obong and Opoka Michael Kilama, Detective Assistant Inspector of Police, Jackson Yochira, Sergeant Vicente Kibuye, Police Constable, Sande Watimango and Ally Christine.     

However, Army Prosecutors led by Captain Ambrose Baguma tabled a document withdrawing charges against Patrick Okello Ajuru, the former LC 1 Chairperson Bana village in Pailyec Parish Amuru Sub Country in Amuru District before his arrest in 2016. 

The document signed by the Director of Army Prosecutions Lt. Col. Raphael Mugisha indicates that the charges against Okello have been withdrawn to protect state interests, adding should further evidence be realised in future, the accused person could be re-arrested and charged basing on the same facts.  

Speaking to URN shortly his release, Okello who shade tears of joy, said he is happy because he has finally left jail after four years. He expressed sympathy for his three wives and 15 children who have since dropped from school as a result of his detention. 

//Cue in: "Now I'm fine ...

Cue out: ...in our village".//

The Kilak South Member of Parliament, Gilbert Olanya who showed up to pick Okello, said he was earlier on arrested by a one Captain Atube over a  land wrangle dispute but the charges were amended to include him on the list of those who attacked security facilities.  

//Cue in: "Okello Patrick Ajuru....  

Cue out: ...is very embarrassing,”//    

The court read charges for the remaining suspects who have been in jail since 2016 when they were arrested. They pleaded not guilty and were sent back to Luzira prison.