State insists on deporting acquitted Lugogo 2010 bomb suspect

Kenneth Kazibwe

Kenneth Kazibwe

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The state has dragged its feet on rescinding and deportation order issued by the internal Affairs Minister in regards Omar Awadh Omar who was recently released but re-arrested by police.

Omar, who according to government documents is a Kenyan national was first arrested following the twin blasts at Lugogo rugby grounds and Ethiopian village in 2010 that killed over 70 Ugandans who were watching the World Cup finals.

It was alleged then that he had received over Shs130 million from the UK through Qaran forex bureau in Kenya and was used to fund the attack on Uganda but in 2016, then Justice Alphonse Owiny Dollo acquitted him and four others of any wrong doing and ordered for their release.

Omar was together with the four re-arrested by police and charged afresh with terrorism for allegedly being found in possession of literature promoting terrorism but last month the Director of Public Prosecution discontinued the charges prompting the International Crimes Division of High Court to release him.

However, police re-arrested him before the Internal Affairs Minister Gen.Jeje Odong issued an order deporting him to Kenya after being deemed undesirable to stay in Uganda.

Protests deportation
However, through his lawyers led by Evans Ochieng, Omar challenged the deportation order by government saying it is unlawful.

In an affidavit sworn by Fatuma Abdhara Said who claims to be Omar’s biological mother, he says he is a Ugandan by birth and deporting him to any other country is unlawful.

“I am a female adult Ugandan of sound mind, Munyankore by tribe born of Kitwekyanjovu, Kyazanga in Lwengo district and the biological mother to the appellant,” says in part the affidavit.

The affidavit also says that Omar’s father who died in 2011 was an Arab of Kenyan decent
On Monday, Ochieng told court that Omar was born in 1972 in Mbarara but his family relocated to Kenya during Idi Amin’s regime until they returned to Uganda in 2002 but their children including Omar remained in Kenya.

“Having remained in Kenya didn’t take away his Ugandan citizenship by birth,”Ochieng said.

The lawyer insisted that Omar is a Ugandan citizen by birth, adding that there is no evidence to show he is Kenyan as alleged by the Internal Affairs Minister in his deportation order.

“Why does government want to throw him to Kenya after spending 10 years in jail? Does government want to create a slave,”Ochieng wondered.

The lawyer said the minister should not have made such an order against a Ugandan citizen.

State insists on deportation
The state prosecutors led by Senior State Attorney Harriet Nalukenge insisted that the minister was right to issue a deportation order for Omar Awadh Omar because an unwanted immigrant who holds a Kenyan passport.

The state prosecutor told court that evidence produced by Omar’s lawyers indicated that Fatuma Abdhara Said is a Ugandan but there was nothing to show that Omar was her son.

“Apart from showing that she his mother, we have not been given any document to show connection between her and Omar for example a birth certificate, immunisation card or photo,”Nalukenge told court on Monday.

“We have not been satisfied she is the mother of Omar and his citizenship is in doubt.”

The state prosecutor also argued that there is no evidence to show that Omar was born in Mbarara adding that he has never renounced his Kenyan citizenship neither has he applied for a Uganda passport.
When the judge asked the state to provide a copy of Omar’s Kenyan passport, the prosecutors said it was not readily available but said they would furnish it with court on Wednesday.

Lawyer punches holes
Omar’s lawyer Ochieng however punched holes in the state’s arguments adding that the deportation order was done in bad faith.

“We have not got any justification for the deportation. What the minister did was an act of impunity and it is only fair for the court to throw the deportation order back to their(Minister’s) face,”Ochieng said.
The International Crimes Division’s Justice Margret Oumo Oguli however adjourned the matter to October 10 to be able to deliver her ruling on the matter.

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