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Agago Residents Demand Transfer of DPC, OC CID Over Extortion, Torture

On Tuesday morning, hundreds of the aggrieved locals majority of whom are Boda Boda operators staged protests within Patongo Town Council and at Patongo Police station to demand the release of one of their colleagues who was allegedly arrested by police and detained him for five days without being produced in court.
One of the protestors during Tuesday demonstration in Patongo Town Council in Agago District.

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Residents of Patongo Town Council in Agago District have demanded the immediate transfer of the acting District Police Commander and the Officer in Charge of Criminal Investigation over alleged corruption and torture of suspects.

They accuse Yunus Sebirumbi who also doubles as the Officer in charge of Patongo Police station and his OC CID Frederick Namusegole of abetting numerous cases of corruption and theft of motorcycles.

On Tuesday morning, hundreds of the aggrieved residents majority of whom are Boda Boda operators staged protests within Patongo Town Council and at Patongo Police station to demand the release of one of their colleagues who was allegedly arrested by police and detained for five days without being produced in court. 

Police responded by firing live bullets to disperse the angry crowds who had set motor vehicle tires ablaze, blocked a section of roads, and pelted stones at Patongo Police station.

It’s reported that the Police last month, arrested Patrick Okema, a Boda Boda rider in Patongo Town council and impounded his motorcycle Registration UAF 707S during curfew time. 

The suspect was reportedly tasked to Pay an Express Penalty of Shillings 40,000 in the bank and another shilling 700,000 to the police for the purported release of his motorcycle.

However, five days ago, the suspect was again re-arrested by the police and reportedly assaulted by the Crimes Intelligence Officer and detained in cells over unknown crimes he committed.

Deogratious Obwor, a resident of Patongo Town Council says the accused police officers have been targeting Boda Boda riders whom they impound their motorcycles and sell-off.

According to Obwor, the police officers have derived a tactic of demanding for the log book of motorcycles impounded which they later hand over to their accomplices who claim afterwards that the motorcycles were stolen.

He says so far five motorcycles had already been sold off in a similar manner adding that the latest suspect who was arrested five days ago was another victim of the planned motorcycle theft.

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Obwor demanded action be taken against the officers and their immediate transfer be effected.

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Joseph Komakech, LCIII Chairperson Patongo Town Council says there is high suspicion on the conduct of the accused police officers with people suspected to be thieves.

He says although one of the Boda Boda riders was arrested and charged for violating curfew, a new charge of motorcycle theft was later slapped on him.

According to Komakech, two Indian businessmen on Monday arrived at Patongo Police station as complainants of the alleged stolen motorcycle but never had the original logbook to show details of the motorcycle.

He however says when he invited the Resident District commissioner to intervene in their claims, the Indian nationals vanished adding that the suspect who was arrested has also been taken to an unknown location.

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Agago Resident District Commissioner Andrew Onyuk has joined the locals in demanding the transfer of the accused officers saying there is enough evidence to pin the officers on corruption, theft, and extortion.

He acknowledges that the Indian nationals vanished from the police station with the help of the OC Cid and the acting DPC.

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Aswa River Region Police Commander Nachuha Damalie says the Police Professional Standards Unit will commence an investigation into the complaints raised by the locals against the police officers.

Damalie however asked locals to cooperate with the Police when called upon for a statement that will pin the accused police officers.

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