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Masaka Court Grants 11 NUP Supporters Bail

Court heard that security intercepted the accused persons on their way to court and took them to Makindye Military barracks before they appeared before the General Court-martial on charges of illegal possession of ammunition before they were remanded to Kitalya prisons.

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Eleven National Unity Platform-NUP party supporters in Masaka accused of inciting violence and acting in a manner likely to cause the spread of a dangerous disease are out on bail. Masaka Chief Magistrate, Charles Yeteise released the accused persons on Tuesday after spending more than two weeks in prisons.

Key among those released on bail are Ali Bukenya alias Nubian Lee, Edward Ssebufu alias Eddie Mutwe and Stanley Kafuko, Mwijukye Lukman Kampala, Rachel Akiki and Shamira Nabukalu. Court heard that security intercepted the accused persons on their way to court and took them to Makindye Military barracks before they appeared before the General Court-martial on charges of illegal possession of ammunition before they were remanded to Kitalya prisons.

The accused person, who appeared in court via zoom from Kitalya prisons, told the court that their lives are deteriorating since they have been denied access to medical services, close relatives and their lawyers. Although the court granted Nubian Lee and his colleagues bail, they did not leave prisons before of the charges before the court-martial. Only those in Saaza prison in Masaka have regained temporary freedom. 

The accused's lawyer, Alexander Lule told the court that he had instructions from his clients to apply bail for them and presented 11 sureties. The state prosecutor, Amina Akasa did not raise any objection to the bail application. She instead asked the court to issue criminal persons for five NUP supporters who were absent in court to appear in the next court sitting. 

Yeteise granted the accused person cash bail of Shillings 200,000 each. Each of their sureties executed a non-cash bond of Shillings 1million. He also directed the Kitalya prisons authorities to allow the accused persons to access their lawyers and a few close relatives and to allow those that are sick access to medical services. 

He adjourned the matter to February 11 for further hearing. Meanwhile, the Masaka grade one magistrate, Christine Nantege has ordered lawyers of the accused persons who raised concerns of gross violations of human rights to present their client’s complaints to the right forum to ensure that they get justice.

The accused persons told the court that despite being in prison on January 3, 2021, they are being framed by security authorities that they were in Makerere Kavule where they were reportedly found with four bullets. They want the magistrate to write to the court-martial and remind them that on the said the date the accused persons were in prison custody in Masaka.