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UPDF Soldier Pleads Not Guilty to Killing Three Civilians in Gulu

Lance Corporal Godfrey Okello Oneka, RA 213734 denied the charges while appearing before the Division Court Martial sitting at the 4th UPDF Division Barracks in Bardege Division, Gulu Municipality.
Lance Corporal Godfrey Okello Oneka (R) accused of killing three civilians in Gulu at the 4th UPDF Division Court Martial - Photo by Dominic Ochola

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A Uganda People’s Defense Forces – UPDF soldier accused of shooting and killing three civilians in Gulu town on February 10, has pleaded not guilty to the offence.

Lance Corporal Godfrey Okello Oneka, RA 213734 denied the charges while appearing before the Division Court Martial sitting at the 4th UPDF Division Barracks in Bardege Division, Gulu Municipality.

The court chaired by Col. Geoffrey Nambafu heard that the accused gunned down Beatrice Ajok, 52, and her two sons; Dan Joachim Binyang, 18, and Owen Norman, 20 and injured an 8-year-old girl.

Col Geoffrey Nambafu read the statement of offence to the accused following a fracas that happened in Vanguard Sub Ward, Pece Division.

//Cue in; “at the session held…

Cue out…of the offence.”//

Col Nambafu, further asked the accused before the court if had shot and killed the trio but Okello denied any knowledge and involvement in the act.  

//Cue in; “RA 213734  Lance…

Cue out…meno pe otime.”//  

Several witnesses including juveniles have been lined up by the 4th Division Court Martial Prosecutor Lt. Eric Debuer Akandwanira to testify against the suspect. The accused is being represented by Captain Augustine Tumwebaze.  

Okello reportedly had a misunderstanding with Ajok's family, which he accused of grazing goats on his land. Although the matter had been mediated and resolved by Pece Division authorities, the outcome of the process reportedly irked Okello resulting in vengeance.