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Police, UWA on the Spot for Violating Suspect's Rights

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Wilson Acuma, the leader of Apaa residents, says the suspects were arrested by officers from Adjumani central prison and taken to Openjinji prisons without recording statements. Anthony Akol, the Kilak South MP has promised to raise the matter with the judiciary, top UWA and Police officials to expose how their personnel are conducting their duties.
Police and Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA rangers are on the spot for arresting people in Adjumani district and sending them to prison without recording police statements.   

This follows the arrest of 13 people who are currently locked up in Openjinji government prison without recording statements. They include Simon Okumu, Denis Okwera, Ivan Okello and Ivan Abala who were arrested on the 12th October this year from Apaa junction.  

Others are Andrew Nyeko, Fadele Ocan, Sunday Onencan, Kalisto Opar, Erriot Odargiu, Emmanuel Nyonongar, Samuel Masendi, Castro Candia and Cosmas Kasozi who were arrested on October 25th, 2019 from Gaji village.  

Wilson Acuma, the leader of Apaa residents, says the suspects were arrested by officers from Adjumani central prison and taken to Openjinji prisons without recording statements.  Anthony Akol, the Kilak South MP has promised to raise the matter with the judiciary, top UWA and Police officials to expose how their personnel are conducting their duties.   

According to Akol, the officers are violating the rights of the suspects by keeping them in custody for more than the mandatory 48 hours before producing them to court. Akol says he is also considering approaching human rights agencies to investigate the abuse of human rights of the residents by security officials from the contested area.

Gilbert Olanya, the Secretary General Acholi Parliamentary group wonders why arrests are still continuing despite a directive from the Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah who heads the select committee instituted by President Yoweri Museveni halting any activities on the contested area.    

 He also says that only courts are mandated to remand suspects.   Peter Data Taban, the Adjumani Resident District Commander, says the suspects are being taken to Openjinji government prison because there is no facility to keep them at the police station. According to Taban, the suspects were arrested for destroying trees from Zoka forests, carrying out farming in East Madi wildlife reserve contrary to the directive given by the committee being chaired Oulanyah.

Josephine Angucia, the West Nile Police Spokesperson, says they are going to investigate the allegations. Tom Olinga, the East Madi Wildlife Reserve Manager declined to comment on the allegations by residents and MPs.

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