Kampala: Jailed ADF rebel leaderJamil Mukulu has asked the International Crimes Division Court Judge Susan Okalany to step down from hearing his bail application on grounds that she is biased and anti-Muslim.
Mukulu, who at first wanted to make a complaint against the Officer In charge of Luzira prison, turned the guns against Justice Okalany when he demanded to know whether she was the right person to complain to.
Mukulu who was appearing before the High Court International Crimes Division via video link from Luzira prisons first asked Justice Okalany for her name, saying he had two issues he wanted court to address.
After the Judge mentioned her name, Jamil Mukulu accused her of being biased and cannot hear his application indicating that 3 years ago the said judge was quoted to have said she feared that Muslims outside prison who have access to him (Mukulu) could hurt her.
Justice Okalany who looked surprised by Mukulu’s utterances asked him to prove the allegations with evidence reminding him that there are laid down procedures for someone to ask a judge to step out of his case.
Mukulu stood his ground, saying he knows it too well that Justice Okalany revealed her sentiments against Muslims adding that she might deny him bail if she proceeds with the application.
Justice Okalany advised Mukulu to raise his concerns through his lawyers, Anthony Wameli, Geoffrey Turyamusiima and Hamuza Ssekidde who were present in court.
As if Mukulu had dreamed it, State Prosecutor Marion Ben- Bella informed court that she wasn’t ready to respond to Mukulu’s bail application saying that she was served with a huge document on Tuesday evening which required more time so that she can read the document in order to draft an appropriate response to the application.
Meanwhile, hearing of his bail application was adjourned to 6th/August/2020 to allow prosecution prepare a response to whether Mukulu should be temporarily released on bail.
Mukulu who has been in prison for five years now, wants to be temporarily released pending his trial on charges of terrorism , murder, aggravated robbery and belonging to a terrorism organisation -ADF.
Mukulu was arrested in Tanzania and sent to Uganda in 2015 to face a string of charges including terrorism, murder, aggravated robbery, attempted murder and being a member of a terrorist group, ADF.
He was accused of commanding his co-accused to acquire firearms and training in neighboring countries and funding for social, economic, political and religious motives.
The state alleges that Mukulu and his group raided Muslim communities most of whom they disagreed with on particular issues like where to face during prayers.
It is alleged that it is against this background that the group eliminated Muslim clerics such as Sheikh Yunus Madango and top Shia Cleric, Dakitoor Abdulqadir Muwaya.
The suspects also allegedly attacked Bugiri Police Station and killed two police officers identified as Karin Tenywa and Muzamir Babale.
In 2019, Justice Eva Luswata assessed the evidence the state intends to use to implicate the suspects and found it sufficient to sustain 20 charges against them.
Mukulu was accordingly committed to ICD for trial, which has failed to kick off. It is on this ground that Mukulu is pushing for his bail.
Who Is Jamilu Mukulu?
Jamil Mukulu, currently 61 was born in Ntoke village Ntenjeru Sub County, Kayunga District.
Though originally catholic by faith, he later converted to Islam and finally formed Allied Democratic Front (ADF) rebel group in 1989 to fight and overthrow government and citing what he described as discrimination against Muslims in Uganda. He’s a fluent speaker of Arabic, Swahili and English and very fine orator who can move and convene crowds to follow him.
At the time, he was considered the overall leader of the salaf section of Tabliq Muslims. This propelled him to prominence at the time when he engaged with police in running battle in fight against the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council at Old Kampala which left several policemen and police dogs dead.
The formation of ADF saw this group commit a series of attacks and atrocities against Uganda which included the following;
(i) 1986 attack on Mponde trading centre in Kasese which left several Ugandans dead.
(ii) 10/10/1997 two teachers were abducted and killed by ADF in Bugoya Sub county Kasese.
(iii) 31/10/1997 – Abducted 19 students from St. Johns Seminary Kasese.
(iv) 8/06/1990, ADF attacked Kichwamba technical college, killing 80 students and abducting over 80.
(v) By August 11, 1998, a total of over 366 children in Kasese were reported to be have abducted by ADF.
(vi) 11/12/1999 ADF attacked UPDF barracks in Bundibugyo, releasing 365 inmates from Katojo prison in Fort portal. 4 UPDF soldiers were killed in this attack.
(vii) 17/01/2000, 25 people were massacred and 17 injured when ADF attacked Kirindi IDP camp in Bundibugyo.
(viii) January 15, 2015 investigation by police into a wave of murders of Muslim religious leaders and robberies in Busoga region linked suspects arrested to ADF. It was also established that killings were sectarian in nature and carried by salaf sect (ADF linked) gangs against Muslims of other sects who were referred to as ‘snakes’