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Nebanda Death: Kalungi's Co-accused Plead Not Guilty

Five people believed to be friends of Adam Suleiman Kalungi, the key suspect in the death of Butaleja Woman MP Cerinah Nebanda, have this morning denied causing the death of the legislator.
Five people believed to be friends of Adam Suleiman Kalungi, the key suspect in the death of Butaleja Woman MP Cerinah Nebanda, have this morning denied causing the death of the legislator.

The five; Abid Rashid Butt, Noor Abubakar, Khan Babu Abdul, Ali Omar Almuzahim and Fatuma Babu alias Tuma, denied the charge of manslaughter.

Manslaughter is causing death of another not deliberately and it carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment once found guilty.

The five appeared before Makindye Chief Magistrates Court to plead to the charges afresh after the charge sheet was amended to include the key suspect, Kalungi.

They were brought from Luzira Prison where they had been on remand since December 31 last year when they were charged with being in possession of restricted drugs and remanded.

Kalungi was also produced in court from the same prison together with his co-accused for mention of the case. Last week, Kalungi entered a plea of not guilty after entering an earlier plea of guilty on his maiden court appearance.

According to the charge sheet, prosecution led by Samalie Wakooli alleges that Kalungi along with his co-accused, on December 14 last year in Buziga, Makindye Division in Kampala, unlawfully caused the death of MP Nebanda. Amidst controversy that followed the death of the 24-year-old legislator, government released a report indicating that she died of a drug overdose.

The reading of the charges however, hit a snug after renowned criminal lawyer, MacDusman Kabega, who is one of the defense lawyers, challenged the charge of supplying and dispensing the restricted drug as being defective.

Kabega submitted that the charge sheet does not disclose to whom the accused persons supplied the restricted drug.

He has asked the presiding Chief Magistrate, Ester Nambayo, to strike out the charge.

On the contrary, state prosecutor, Wakooli, submitted that the charge sheet is properly drawn and that they can’t include all the details of whom the drug was supplied to as this will be disclosed in evidence during the hearing.

After listening to both sides, the magistrate is set to give her ruling at 2:30 pm on whether the charge of supply and dispensing the restricted drug is defective or not.

Should the magistrate in her ruling find out that the charge of supplying and dispensing the restricted drug is defective, she will accordingly strike it out and the suspects will not enter plea on it.

On the contrary, the suspects will enter plea on it if found not defective.

Prosecution alleges that Kalungi, Noor Abubakar, Khan Babu, Abdul Abid Rashid Butt, Fatuma Babu and others still at large, during the period of September and December 2012, supplied the restricted drug.

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