A suspect in a gold deal gone wrong in Abim District has filed a notice of intention to sue Police Chief IGP Martins Okoth Ochola, Attorney General William Byaruhanga and Commissioner of Crimes at CID Kibuli over illegal detention, tough bond conditions, threats and failure to produce him in court.
Jimmy Omeny Odak, the LC3 Coucillor of Morulen Sub County in Abim District, accuses police of arresting him from his home in a highhanded manner, and detaining him at Jinja Road Police Station in Kampala – a distance of 440km away – yet there are police stations in Abim.
CID Kibuli recorded his case under file number CID HQRTSE/48/2021.
The Councillor also accuses police of detaining him for one month and of failure to produce him in court.
“My concern is that I was arrested from Abim and driven to Kampala. I don’t know why I was taken to Kampala where I was detained from February 04 to March 03, almost one full month in police custody,” Odak told Pearl Times News.
Odak’s release followed a High Court order secured by his lawyer Andrew Obam of Loi Advocates. He would then be let go days later after police granted him bond.
Gold Deal Gone Bad
According to a complaint Loi Advocates have filed before the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), a gold dealer named Bahati had visited Oringeo Welo Village of Angolebwole Parish in Abim District to purchase gold dust/stones which he personally tested and agreed to pay Shs75m for.
Lawyer Obam told Pearl Times News that the transaction was done at Odak’s home, the councilor recorded the names of the witnesses to the deal and earned his commission as is the practice.
“To our client’s dismay, he was only arrested and charged with personation, only to discover that the complainant had lodged a complaint despite having bought gold stones from several persons in our client’s community,” added Loi Advocates in their notice to the DPP.
“The alleged complainant is neither known to our client nor have they had any past dealings nor does he legally trade as a licensed dealer in precious metals/stones.”
Odak further told this news publication that since his release from Jinja Road Police Station, he has been receiving threats from officers he believes are from Kibuli.
“My file did not go to court. They haven’t taken me to court but they are continuously calling me and threatening me. My life is in danger; I can no longer sleep in my house. I am running from one place to another,” he said.
“The only thing that I want is to be taken to court if my file is sanctioned. Otherwise I have lost peace.”
The councillor’s lawyers have now sought “the indulgence of [the DPP] to have this matter resolved expeditiously.”
They have asked the DPP to advise the Commissioner in charge of Crimes at Kibuli CID “to adhere to the requisite due process rather than daunting and infuriating our client with superfluous police bond visits, owing to the fact that our client is a resident of Abim District” and “the police ought to have heed to the fact that there are several police stations between Abim and Kampala.”
Odak also complained to the DPP about “the hardships and mental anguish” suffered by his family members as “bullets were fired frantically” during his arrest.
For the Attorney General and IGP, Odak’s lawyers have warned that if the Kibuli Commissioner of Crimes continues to malevolently indict their client with personation contrary to material facts, keep threatening him and demanding that he reports to Kampala as part of his bond conditions, they shall “immediately commence legal action” against the three officials – IGP, Attorney General and Commissioner of Crimes – “to protect our client’s civil rights, at your expense.”