By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: High Court in Kampala has adjourned Human Rights defender Nicholas Opio’s case hearing to 28 January 2021 to give more time to prosecution side to gather more ‘incriminating’ evidence the state needs to proceed with prosecution. The adjournment came after the state told the court that they’re still investigating and needed more time.
Nicholas’s lawyers, however, asked the court to compel the state to expedite their investigations into the same in order to bring the matter to conclusion as fast as it can take in order for their client to gain his freedom and start his normal businesses like any other free Ugandan with his full rights.
Lawyers wondered why the state was in a hurry to arrest Nicholas moreover in such a manner, before doing investigations which they’re now allegedly doing.
Opiyo was in mid-December picked up like a chicken thief from Lamaro restaurant located in Kamwokya, together with other lawyers including Herbert Dakasi, Anthony Odur and Esomu Obure, and Hamid Tenywa before being handcuffed and detained at the Special Investigations Division in Kireka on charges of money laundering.
According to Police, the lawyers were arrested because of receiving $340,000 through an Absa bank account belonging to Chapter Four Uganda, an organization headed by Opio, “knowing that at the time of receipt, the funds were proceeds of a crime.”
On 24 December 2020, Nicholas Opio was presented before Nakawa Chief Magistrates’ Court where he was charged with money laundering and neglect to submit annual returns to the NGO Bureau and Court also forwarded his file to the Anti-Corruption Court through the High Court Registrar for further hearing.