Oyam—7, July 2020: A military court chaired by 5th Division Chairman, Col Paul Omara has sentenced an LDU, his colleague and one UPDF officer to life imprisonment, 20 and 40 years respectively in a judgement made on Tuesday afternoon.
The court martial which started on Friday 3, July this year, concluded today (Tuesday) with a landmark judgement.
The three suspects, RA 193 669 Lance Cpl Ogwang Godfrey 42 years, AX 028 496 Private Okumu Francis 20 years and AX 028 741 Private Opoka Thomas Jolly 22 years were produced by defense council, Lt Abubakar Nyombi as witnesses and both testified before the honourable court martial.
Read the convicts’ defence statements before Court
In his judgement, Col Paul Omara who started by reading names and titles of the accused went on to say the 5th army court “has reached its verdict”.
“You the accused A1, A2 and A3, you are all persons subject to military law where charged with murder contrary to section 188 and 189 of Penal Code Act Chapter 120. You pleaded not guilty to the offence as prosecution produced seven witnesses who testified against you and were cross-examined by defense, court found you accused persons: A1, A2, A3 with a case to answer and you were put to our defense; you became defense’s witnesses and were cross-examined by prosecution….”
“…final submissions were then read in court and charge advocates summed up the case and court has come up with the verdict as follows…”
“You, A1 RA 193 669 Lance Cpl Ogwang Godfrey you have been found guilty of murder for your involvement as an accomplice to the murder of Ogwang Francis Munu; you moved with the killers as you were their commander and you failed to control your men leading to the killing of Ogwang Francis Munu. You have been found guilty of murder as a participant that led to the death of Ogwang Francis.”
Accused two, AX 028 741 Private Opoka Thomas Jolly: “You have been found guilty of murder contrary to section 188 and 189 of the Penal Code Act. You’re the prime killer of Ogwang Francis Munu; you used your gun violently, leading to the death of Ogwang Munu. You are thus being found guilty of murder contrary to sections 188 and 189 of the Penal Code Act.”
A3, AX 028 496 Private Okumu Felix: “You have been found guilty of murder of contrary to sections 188 and 189 of Penal Code Act Chapter 120. As an accomplice to the murder of Ogwang Francis Munu, you participated in violently assaulting Ogwang Francis Munu; you thus have been found guilty of murder by the 5th Division Court Martial.”
“Point to know. This operation which went wrong would not have gone wrong if the police had not allowed this misguided militants to proceed without the lead of the police which is well trained to handle law enforcement operations. Remember, this operation is a police-led operation. If they had not told these soldiers to go, they wouldn’t have gone; we are then waiting to her from the police on gross negligence of duty. We shall follow up that the OC who set these people must also be taken to Law.”
“You the accused persons A1, A2, A3 have a right to appeal to the decision of this court—General Court Martial within 14 days from today 7, July 2020. Here under my hand and seal this 7, July 2020.”
One of the accused, a prime suspect, was slapped with a life sentence, a UPDF soldier was convicted to 20 years as an accomplice and another LDU was handed 40 years as an accomplice.
Their actions contravened sections 188 and 189 of the Penal Code Act.