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