The attorney for the eight people charged with the attempted murder of Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala has asked the state to withdraw the accusations against his clients, claiming that they are not guilty of the crime.
Sheikh Yusuf Siraji Nyanzi, Hussein Sserubula, Muhammad Kagugube, Kamada Walusimbi, Siriman Ayuub Kisambira, Abdulaziz Ramathan Dunku, Habib Ramanthan Marjan, and Huzaifah Wampa are the suspects in this case.
On June 1st, 2021, the eight are accused of firing gunshots into Gen. Katumba’s vehicle, killing his daughter, Brenda Nantongo, and the driver, Sergeant Haruna Kayondo, near Kisoota road in Kisaasi.
General Katumba survived the onslaught with bullet wounds. Police swooped in, apprehended the eight suspects, and charged them with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in court.
The suspects’ lawyer, Hamza Ssekidde, requested on Tuesday that the prosecution, lead by State Attorney Rose Aoja, clear her hands and remove the charges against his clients, claiming that they did not conduct the crime for which they are being imprisoned.
This came after Aoja requested an adjournment from Nakawa Grade 1 Magistrate Posiano Odwori because the probe was still ongoing. Ssekidde objected to the prayers, claiming that his clients had been arrested and arraigned in court for three months.
He claimed that the suspects’ extended detention in a subject of public interest, accompanied by lengthy investigations, is a breach of their rights and causes suffering to their families.
He further contended that, given Gen. Katumba’s profile and the fact that the suspects are suspected of attempting to murder him, the state can do everything it takes to resolve the case as quickly as possible since the suspects may pose a threat to the country’s security.
Ssekidde requested that the State Attorney advise the court to dismiss the case because he was unable to get evidence accusing his clients. Posiono Odwori, the presiding magistrate, did not react to the accused’s lawyer’s petitions and adjourned the case to September 14th, 2021. Huzaifah Wampa appeared in court via video link from Kigo main jail, unlike her previous two appearances.
Jail officials attributed his failure to appear in court on two consecutive times on connectivity issues at Kigo prison, he told URN. Ssekidde stated that separating Wampa from his co-accused at Luzira Upper Prison is not a problem, claiming that both Kigo and Luzira are gazetted detention facilities.
He also claimed that despite writing to the jail officials as instructed by the court, they had failed to gain access to their clients.