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Pressure as Police boss Lokech issues 48-hour ultimatum to police and its sister security agencies on abducted suspects

The deputy inspector general of police Maj Gen Paul Lokech has issued a 48-hour ultimatum to police to take to court within 48 hours all people have recently been abducted by security operatives

The order to the Crime Intelligence director, Brig Gen Chris Damulira and his Criminal Investigation Directorate boss AIGP Grace Akullo comes in the wake of an ongoing public outcry about operatives abducting people from various parts of the country.

Since the November 18 riots that followed the arrest of then National Unity Platform presidential candidate, Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine, a number of people have been abducted and bundled into numberless vehicles commonly known as Drones. The operatives who are often clad in military or counter-terrorism police attire or sometimes even dressed casually in civilian clothes but armed have kidnapped people on the streets, shops, markets, workplaces and homes.

Lokech said it was time the public got to know who is abducting people and the charges they are facing. Lokech said Akullo and Damulira must avail the names and particulars of the offences people in hands security agencies have committed and ensure they are arraigned in courts.

“Arrest of people, I have instructed director of CID, director of crime intelligence to give me the list of anybody who has been arrested and in any of the cells of our security agencies. I have also instructed that those people arrested they feel are a threat to security must be brought before the courts of law and this must be done within 48 hours as stipulated in our regulations,” said Lokech.

The ultimatum comes five days after Internal Affairs minister, Gen Jeje Odongo, ordered Akullo to investigate the rampant abductions by alleged security personnel. Abductions have been reported in Lubaga, Kiseka market, Makerere, Bugolobi, Kawaala, Mukono, Entebbe, Buwama and Bulaga.

Between last November and the end of January this year, more than 30 people have reportedly been abducted by security operatives. Many have not been arraigned in courts and their whereabouts remain unknown.

The abductees include four Makerere Kavule carpenters Elias Musagala, Shafick Zibula, Kabiswa and Kavuma who were bundled into a numberless army green drone on December 30, 2020.

Mike Semudu was abducted from Masanafu in Lubaga Division, John Damulira was abducted from Kiseka market, Hassan Mubiru was grabbed from Kawaala and Sylvester Kalulu was grabbed from City Centre. Those missing in Mukono include Male Musa, Kajimu Musa, Muhamad Kanata, Isma Serunkuma, Kiwanuka Sula, Mukasa Jjuko, Kyakuwa Joseph, Ntule Stephen and Kabanda Disan.

Uganda People’s Defence Forces spokesperson, Brig Flavia Byekwaso, said they will join Akullo and Damulira to ensure all people in the hands of security agencies are known and brought to court. Two days after the November riots, military and police said they had a list of 300 people who had allegedly fueled the protests. This was followed by reports of abductions that have continued to date.

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