Abdullah Kitatta, Boda Boda 2010 association patron and his co accused have asked the General Court Martial to dismiss charges against him citing that there was no crucial testimony from the investigating officer.
The others are: Matia Ssenfuka, Joel Kibirige, Hassan Ssemata, Jonathan Kayondo, Ssengooba Hassan, Sande Ssemwogerere, John Ssebandeke, Hussein Mugema, Fred Bwanika, Amon Twinomujuni and Sowali Ngobi.
The group was arrested between January , 19th and 21st 2018 from various places in Rubaga Division, before being arraigned in Court Martial on charges of being in possession of unlawful weapons and military stores.
The prosecution alleges that weapons which include military head gears, UPDF uniforms and 55 live ammunitions were allegedly discovered from their offices in Natete. Others are two pistols , an SMG which were reportedly found with Kitatta.
Today the defence team started filing their submissions on a no case to answer against the accused persons before court presided by Lt General Andrew Guti.
The lawyers led by Shaban Sanywa told Court that the prosecution presented only four witnesses who failed to connect the accused persons to the items recovered , and also connecting them to the scene of crime.
The witness paraded included Private Richard Kasaija one of the nine operatives involved in the operation, Corporal Richard Wanyama, the CMI detective attached to Directorate of Counter Terrorism , Major David Ababa the former Operations Commander at CMI and Corporal Alex Baguma the one who was driving the vehicle that picked up suspects
Court heard that had prosecution presented the Investigating Officer, may be he would have guided court on whether Kitatta really touched the guns and whether the guns paraded were real functioning guns or not .
Sanywa says that the Investigating Officer would have also told court whether he had access to Vine Hotel and establish if the guns were got from there.
Sanywa told Court that the investigating officer would have been important in narrating the chain of movement of evidence , and how the Boda Boda 2010 offices were searched in the absence of the accused persons
The defence lawyers further noted that on the circumstances of arrest , witnesses Kasaija, and Major Agaba, Baguma said that there is no one who was arrested from the Boda Boda 2010 offices.
According to Sanywa, this implies that the rest of the accused persons were arrested from the way for obstruction and assault as per witness Wanyama’s testimony
The lawyers further asked for the acquittal of the accused persons saying that none of the witnesses told court that “I searched and recovered the pistols “.
In this, the state is faulted for failing to present who exactly did the search and found the weapons.
Court further heard that the search was illegally conducted, no search certificate was tabled in court, and neither were the accused persons present nor the owner of the premises when the search was conducted.
Based on the above, the accused persons seek acquittal saying that prosecution led by Major Raphael Mugisha presented evidence in bad faith arguing that it lacked independence, since all the witnesses involved were only from the Army .
The defence team says neither the public who witnessed the arrest, nor police or the owners of Vine Hotel were brought to testify against the accused persons.
Hearing was adjourned to December, 10th, 2018 for the prosecution to file in their reply to the matter.