The Territorial Police in Aswa Region and Pader district have put out teams to find and arrest former MP Odonga Otto and a group of vigilantes after they were captured on video, viciously beating three victims, who had gone to buy charcoal in northern Uganda.
The incident, Police says, happened at one of the homesteads in Laorogali village, Atanga sub-county, in Pader district on April 30. The group reportedly assaulted them using sticks and pangas, and allegedly robbed cash Sh1,097,700 from Ssemanda Charles.
The three who faced the wrath of Otto, include Charles Ssemanda, Yusuf Wagwana and Takafa Erisata who had loaded 12 bags of charcoal in their Fuso truck registration number UBA 600B.
According to a police statement, the vigilantes vandalised the Fuso truck and stole two motor vehicle batteries, a motor vehicle radio, woofer, motor vehicle key and tarpoline. The attackers further damaged the wind screen, the fuel tank and tyres of the Fuso truck.
The victims were later released and they reported the matter at Atanga police station.
“A serious manhunt for the Hon. Odonga Otto and all those who participated in the torture by caning and beating is active and ongoing,” said Police Spokesperson SCP Fred Enanga.
According to Enanga, the same group had earlier attacked a one Olara Charles Okello, after he was found buying firewood while in his motor vehicle registration number UAP 516D, along Lapul- Atanga road in Atanga sub-county. The attackers robbed phones and other belongings.
“Although the Hon. Odonga Otto and his vigilantes, claim they are an advocacy group, that is enforcing a ban on commercial trade in Acholi Sub-region, their level of physical interaction is not only reckless and dangerous, but can lead to hate crimes in society,” Enanga said.
“We wish to remind the public that torture, through the use of corporal punishment or any other form of physical assault, are punishable by law. We therefore, urge the former law maker to avoid taking the law in his hands and misleading other members of the public, into acts of lawlessness and impunity.”