Police have said human rights lawyer Nicholas Opiyo was arrested and detained over charges related to money laundering.
The lawyer was on Tuesday afternoon picked up from Lamaro restaurant located in Kamwokya, , handcuffed and taken to an unknown location by security personnel.
However, in a statement released later in the day, Police admitted having participated in the arrest carried out by the Joint Task Force and noted that the lawyer is being investigated over money laundering.
“We would like to confirm the arrest of lawyer Nicholas Opio, by a Joint Task team of Security and Financial Intelligence, on allegations of money laundering and related malicious acts,” a statement from police said.
“The investigations are progressing well and any new developments will be communicated in due course. He remains in our custody at the Special Investigations Division.”
Opiyo is the lawyer representing two NGOs including the Uganda National NGO Forum and the Uganda Women’s Network whose accounts were recently frozen by the Financial Intelligence Authority over alleged involvement in moving money to finance terrorism activities.
According to a statement released by Chapter Four Uganda, an organization involved in defending human rights condemned the arrest but said they are still ascertaining the facts surrounding the arrest of their boss, Nicholas Opiyo.
“Chapter Four is concerned about the safety and well-being of Mr.Opiyo considering that he is being held outside the protection of the law. We are in the process of gathering facts and reviewing the situation and will be taking measures to ensure his immediate release,” Chapter Four Uganda said in the statement.
It has also been established that Opiyo was arrested together with three other human rights lawyers including Herbert Dakasi, Anthony Odur and Esomu Obure.