Who Killed Col. Abiriga? State Assembles 148 Witnesses To Pin Rebel Leader, 34 Others!

Who Killed Col. Abiriga? State Assembles 148 Witnesses To Pin Rebel Leader, 34 Others!

By Siraje Lubwama

In the wake of the recent murder of Col. Ibrahim Abiriga (MP) Arua Municipality, prosecution has lined up 148 witnesses to pin the former Allied Democratic Forces Jamil Mukulu and 34 others in various criminal charges before High Court (War Crimes Division).

Multiple counts in the indictment signed by Principal State Attorney Charles Richard Kaamuli on September 5, 2015 on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) where the Ugandan Austrian-based Dr Aggry Kiyingi appeared as accused No 35 in absential, include aiding and abetting terrorism, crimes against humanity, aggravated robbery and attempted murder.

All the offences are alleged to have been committed in the Districts of Mayuge, Namayingo, Bugiri, Iganga, Jinja, Mbale, Budaka Wakiso, Tororo, Mukono and Kampala between 2012 and 2015.
Prosecution partly alleges that the accused persons under the leadership of , Salim Ali Yahaya Sharif Abdullah alias Mukyotara, Ali Kabambwe alias Muna Kenya, Musa Muku Nabangi alias Vando, Adam-Diini Bashiri alias Wabula and Sheikh Rashid Ahmed Wasigu with a criminal agenda to terrorize Busoga region through commission of murders.
“ Prosecution shall summon 148 witnesses some from abroad; they will include experts, relatives, victims and investigators; prosecution will make appropriate applications and take necessary steps to protect 82 witnesses and will also take appropriate steps to make protected disclosure of materials, documents and evidence,” prosecution revealed.

Summary Of The Case
The DPP will adduce evidence at the trial to prove that the accused under the leadership of Sheikh Wasigu accused No 5 (A5); Bashir (A4) Kabambwe (A1) had an intention of eliminating the Shia and Sunni who were described as “snakes” or “kafiri” (non-believers).
“Evidence will be adduced to show that Abdullah (A2) was overall commander of all the operations in Busoga region; while Wasigu was the spiritual leader of the gang and had greatly influenced and directed their operations in which they dissolved to acquire guns by robbing the police, army, local guards and any available source.
The group allegedly recruited a UPDF soldier Sgt. John Woori (A7)alias Tango who used to hire the A47 riffle No56-131006417 (09505) from his police relative Cpl. Martin Alex Engwau who was a night guard at the IGG’s office in Tororo.

Engwau, according to the indictment was arrested and prosecuted before Tororo magistrate’s court for loss of his gun but later acquitted. However, when investigations into killings in Busoga begun, Engwau’s gun was recovered and was consequently re-arrested.

Sheikh Muwaya Murder
Evidence show that in December 2014 Wesiku organized a meeting which was attended by Kabambwe, Abdul Swabul Kimbugwe alias Musamoza (A16) who owned a School in Mayuge District, Adam Siraje and Yahaya and they resolved to murder Sheikh Ductoor Kadir Muwaya a Shia leader who was running several schools and clinics on a December 25 that year an action they fulfilled.

On the fateful night, Siraji allegedly raked the deceased who left the Mosque after evening prayers and was shot by Musomoza. Kitambwe allegedly rod the motor cycle carrying Afani Muhammad Mbuya ((A17) and left the scene and went to Kabambwe’s home in Giri-giri in Mayuge.
After the gun used was recovered, investigations into the case by Mayuge police station commenced where five cartridges and other items were recovered from the scene and submitted to the Government Analytical Laboratory for analysis.
Muwaya’s body was examined by Dr Sam Kalungi on December 12, 2014 and found with several gunshots attributed to gunshot wounds.

ADF rebel membership
At the end of it all Prosecution promises to adduce evidence that most of the accused represented by several lawyers led by L. Rwakafuzi were recruited and transported to the DR Congo and trained in military combat by the ADF rebels under the command of Mukulu.
That in their military training, they resolved and agreed to overthrow the Government of Uganda and establish a Sharia law in the country.
Those named as being recruited and trained by ADF are Kabambwe, Salim Ali, Sheikh Wanjala, Mwandah, Diini, Mutuka and Matovu. “Kabambwe was at one time arrested by Congolese forces and handed over to UPDF, tried and convicted of terrorism on his own plea of guilty at Buganda road court and sentenced to three years. After serving the jail term, Kabambwe returned to Busoga and continued with his ADF activities in the region,” says the prepared evidence.

On terrorism, prosecution threatens to adduce evidence to show that the alleged murders and robberies were part of a systematic plan agreed upon by the gang members and approved by Mukulu to weaken the government and instil fear in the population.

Crimes against Humanity
Among the evidences prepared, it indicates that through the leadership of Sheikh Wasiku, the group organised hate seminars for all Salaf Imam in the region and spread the message that only Salaf Muslims were good Muslims and those from other sects were non-believers and snakes.

Mukulu’s arrest and extradition
Towards the end of April 2015, Mukulu was arrested from Dar-es Salaam, Tanzani with Muhammad Matovu (A26) and Omar Abdullah Mutuka (A27) and extradited to Uganda before he was first charged in Jinja.
“The prosecution will tender and rely on the exhibits recovered in possession of Mukulu and his two aides. Further evidence to be adduced to prove Mukulu through a network of his ADF recruits in Busoga and other parts of Uganda ordered, financed and coordinated execution of several crimes in Uganda,” adds the evidence.
Evidence would also show that eight guns were recovered both from Giri-giri near Salaf Mosque and Wanjala’s house which was operated as an armoury. “Therefore the prosecution will adduce evidence at the trial and submit that all the accused persons have no defence to the indictment and pray that they be found guilty as indicted and conceited accordingly,” the 45-page indictment adds.

When contacted on Friday, Rwakafuzi said their team of learned lawyers who include Caleb Alaka is also ready to fight a legal battle with a view of seeing them acquitted. “Let’s wait, my worry is that the one month projection with the said 148 months may not be enough because each of them if they don’t get lost in the air will be put to strict proof,” said Rwakafuzi.

Whereas the pre-trial judge is Eva Luswata who is to determine a prima facie case first, the three panel of judges led by Moses Mukiibi include Suzan Okalany and Michael Elubu. To be continued……

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