Two residents of Aboke Sub County in Kole district will have to spend the next 7 years in prison for manslaughter.
Martin Ogwal, 37, and Okello John Kuba, 35, on Thursday pleaded guilty and sentenced before Lira High Court Judge, Justice Alex Ajiji.
The convicts who were initially charged with murder entered a plea bargain session together with their lawyer, State Attorney and the bereaved family members, requesting for an amendment on their previous charge and in exchange to their current change in pleas.
After the plea bargain session, the defense lawyer, Adar John Patrick of Adar & Co. Advocates told court that his clients has asked State to amend the charge levied on them from murder to man-slaughter so that they can enter their pleas of guilt.
Gloria Akello, the State Attorney told court that they have agreed that both convicts be sentenced to 7 years in prison.
“Having considered your pleas and the gravity of the offence, we have concluded that both accused be sentenced to 7 years also bearing in mind that the accused have pleaded guilty to the new charge and thus have not wasted court’s time by having had to listen to all the witnesses’ account,” State avers .
“My Lord, all that the State has said is true and correct. I only want to add that my clients, now convicts fully participated in the bargain process and I have personally explained to them what this means and their rights as well,” Lawyer for convicts told Court before final ruling.
“And on behalf of my clients, I want to pray for forgiveness from the family of our victim; we never intended to kill him but it happened anyway. We pray that this honorable Court grants us this wish,” Convict Ogwla Martin pleaded with remorsefulness.
Having listened to all those above, Justice Alex Ajiji ruled thus:
“Upon seeing the letter written by the deceased’s father forgiving the accused, having seen you asking for forgiveness from both this Court and from the bereaved family and having considered the circumstances in this case, I can clearly see that they are remorseful and so let the convicts be punished for unlawfully causing the death of Adoki Denis to seven (7) years bearing in mind that the convicts have already been in remand for 4 years.”
Police investigation report states that on 19 July 2014 while at Abongodero trading centre, Aboke Sub County in Kole District, the duo (convicts) unlawfully caused the death of one Adoki Denis.
It was alleged that the deceased went to Okello Kuba’s bar for his leisure at around 8:30pm from where he borrowed a mobile phone from Ogwal Martin with an intention of making a call.
Report further say the deceased then moved an inch to make his private call before Ogwal suspected him of trying to steal his phone and followed him up.
Report further stated that Ogwal got hold of the deceased, alerted Kuba and they both assaulted him, leaving the deceased unconscious. The victim was then rushed to Aboke HC IV and later referred to Lira Regional Referral Hospital from where he was later pronounced dead.
A postmortem report conducted then, and presented in Court as evidence showed that the deceased died from Septicemia shock.