Pader Grade One magistrate’s court has released on bail 33 people accused of staging demonstrations against the security while enforcing COVID-19 restrictions last year.
The accused who include, the Pader Urban Council III Chairperson, Fearless Kilama, and Pader Town Council LC V councilor, Geoffrey Komakech Okumu have been on remand for their alleged involvement in protests held on December 6th and 7th, 2021.
The residents rose up in arms when police and the army enforcing COVID-19 restrictions on December 5th, 2021 arrested a woman for street vending leaving her three-month-old baby behind.
The conduct of the security personnel angered residents sparking off two days of demonstrations in Pader Town Council. Police used teargas to disperse the protesters, which saw several innocent people injured and property destroyed during the two-day protests. As a result, police conducted indiscriminate operations leading to the arrest of several people for malicious damage to property and staging unlawful assembly. They appeared in court, which remanded them to Kineni prisons in Pader, Gulu, and Kitgum Central Prisons.
After having spent one month in prison detention, the suspects appeared before the Pader Grade I Magistrate, Edward Kabayo Akankwasa on Wednesday, Thursday, and finally on Friday as their defence lawyer negotiated their bail applications.
Akankwasa says that he granted the accused bail, which is a fundamental right guaranteed by Article 23 (6) of the 1995 constitution of the Republic of Uganda. Each of the suspects executed non-cash bail of Shillings 1million while their sureties executed non-cash bail of Shillings 2million. The suspects will return to court on January 26th, 2022.
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