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Gulu Shooting Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

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Prosecution led by Captain Charles Ssekayita told court that while at Smiling Panda 2, a Pub at Kabedo Opong Parish in Bar Dege Division on August 4th at about 11:30PM Odaga shot three people to death and injured another.
An Escort of Lt. Gen Andrew Gutti Arrives At the Court Session in Gulu District Council Hall
Lance Corporal Geoffrey Odaga, the UPDF soldier accused of shooting three people to death and injuring another in Gulu town early this week has pleaded not guilty to all the charges brought against him.

Odaga appeared on Thursday before the UPDF General Court Martial chaired by Lt. Gen. Andrew Guti at Gulu district council chambers. He was charged with three counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and aggravated robbery.

Prosecution led by Captain Charles Ssekayita told court that while at Smiling Panda 2, a Pub at Kabedo Opong Parish in Bar Dege Division on August 4th at about 11:30PM Odaga shot three people to death and injured another. 

He identified the dead as Sunday Ouma Wokorach, the proprietor of the pub, Yasin Fred - a resident and Richard Denis Ochen, formerly the organizing Secretary of the Democratic Party (DP) in Gulu.

The injured is Jimmy Ojok, a resident of Gulu town who is admitted at Gulu Hospital. Ssekayita also accused the suspect of robbing four bottles of beer and Shillings 61,500 from the pub.  Prosecution presented Aber Doreen Molly, the Cashier at the Pub and Solomon Owacgiu, a resident of Gulu town to pin the accused.

The trial, which commenced at 12:55PM, had to be re-started afresh after the accused opted to speak in Luo instead of the Swahili language, in which he began testifying. Odaga remained standing, composed and sweating throughout the trial.

He confirmed hearing the charges, saying he had understood them when they were read out to him by the Chairman. He entered the plea of not guilty by remaining silent to all the charges - paving way for a full trial. 

According to Lt. Gen. Guti, the General Court martial opted to try the soldier instead of the Division court martial following the  delay by President, Yoweri Museveni the Commander of Armed forces to renew the instruments of the division court martials nationwide.

The other members of the General Court Martial are Brig. Joseph Arocha, Major Sarah Navuga, Maj. Henry Musoke and Captain Teopista Gilama. The othera are Captain Paul Mugerwa and Warrant Officer Class One Paul Kamya. The trial will resume on Friday morning.