The International Crimes Division of the High Court in Kampala has released the 11 suspects who had been accused of masterminding the murder of Maj Mohammed Kiggundu and his bodyguard in 2016.
Maj.Kiggundu was shot dead alongside his bodyguard Sgt Steven Mukasa by men riding on motorcycles at Masanafu near the Northern bypass in the wee hours of November,26, 2016 as he headed for a radio talk show.
Consequently, a number of people were arrested and charged over the gruesome murder.
However, on Friday, the International Crimes Division of the High Court’s deputy registrar, Stella Beatrice Atingu said the only option that court was left with, was releasing the suspects after the state prosecutors lost interest in prosecuting the 11 people.
“Since the DPP filed a Nolle Prosequi discontinuing proceedings against all the accused persons, they are now free unless they are held on other charges. You are now free persons,”Atingu said.
The 11 released people include Abdulaziz Abdushakur Musoke, Sulaiman Wayaba, Bashir Nyangisho, Sulait Lukwago Majid, Alqaeda Abasi Fikil Yusuf, Abubaker Katende , Lukia Namulondo, Malik Ssenabulya, Yasin Kaggwa Galiwango, Usama Mugozi and Asuman Musijjo.
However, three of these, including Malik Ssenabulya,Asuman Musijjo and Alqaeda Abasi Fikil Yusuf have been out of on bail whereas Abubaker Katende was returned to Luzira as he is still facing other charges.
DPP loses interest
The development comes on the backdrop of a Nolle Prosequi by the Director of Public Prosecutions in which she informed court that her office had lost interest in prosecuting the group.
“Take notice that the government of Uganda intends that the proceedings against the group charged with aiding and abetting terrorism and belonging or professing to belong to a terrorist group organization and rendering support to a terrorist organization shall not continue,” reads in part the notice by Jane Frances Abodo, the DPP dated February,19, 2021.
The 11 people will now, at last, enjoy their freedom after being in detention for more than four years
Following the gruesome murder, security linked the crime to Allied Democratic Forces rebel group then headed by Jamilu Mukulu( now incarcerated at Luzira prison). since Maj Kiggundu had earlier been part of them and later received amnesty from government.
It is the reason after their arrest, the 11 suspects were charged with terrorism and belonging to a terrorist group but no mention of the murder of Maj Kiggundu was made in the chargesheet.
However, according to the DPP’s summary of evidence that this website has seen, security got intelligence information that ADF had deployed operatives from DRC to coordinate with their agents in Uganda to carry out terrorist attacks of killing of high profile government officials.
“On November, 26, 2016, Rt Maj Kiggundu and his bodyguard were murdered and investigations commenced leading to the arrest of the accused. Investigations revealed that the accused belonged to ADF and the rebel group had engaged in recruiting, training and transporting them to ADF camps in DRC soliciting and sourcing for funds to carry out operations in Uganda,” the DPP, then Mike Chibita said in his summary of evidence dated March , 2, 2018.
The group alongside others was arrested for involvement in the murder of AIGP Andrew Kaweesi in 2017 but later, they were separated and some of them were charged with the murder of the police chief, whereas others faced charges in relation to the murder of Maj Kiggundu.
However, the charges were dropped and were slapped with fresh ones related to being terrorists, supporting and aiding terrorism.