Court Awards Four Suspects Shs15m Each Over Illegal Detention

The High Court in Kampala has awarded Shs15m to each of the four suspects who were for illegally detained by the State House Anti-corruption Unit led by Lt Col Edith Nakalema beyond the constitutionally mandated 48 hours, without being formally charged before court.

According to the Presiding judge Musa Ssekaana, the four suspects, were detained at Kabalagala Police Station in Kampala for five days, a period beyond the constitutionally recommended 48 hours.

The suspects, were are; Felix Cuthbert Esoku, the Chief Administrative Officer, Godlive Nayebare, Rosali Karuhanga and Emmanuel Himbisa.

According to Article 23 (2) of the Constitution of Uganda, when someone is arrested, he/she must be brought to court within 48 hours. Similarly , Article 23 (4) states that when one is unlawfully arrested or detained, he/she is entitled to compensation.

“With the consideration to the submissions of counsel and the above principles, I award the applicants a sum of Shs10m each for illegal detention, the applicants are also awarded Shs5m as punitive damages against the 1st respondent (Attorney General) for the gross violation of human rights and Constitution, as well as to deter security agencies from repeating this conduct against it’s citizenry,” Judge Sekaana ruled.

However, the judge dismissed the suspects claims of toture due to lack of sufficient evidence.

The group was arrested last year by Lt Col Nakalema unit on charges of abuse of office in connection with public land in Mbarara.

Further in his decision, the judge rejected the request by the officials to stop their criminal prosecution, arguing that he was presiding over a civil court and it wouldn’t be legally proper to interfere with their criminal prosecution.

Kleive Calvin