Youth in Moyo armed with bows and arrows prepare to go and revenge over the arrest of their colleagues in Yumbe recently. A similar incident happened in Adjumani when locals attacked UWA security team over eviction from a reserve. Photo by Clement Aluma

The suspects, who have since last month been on remand in Openzinzi Prison filed the bail application before Adjumani Grade One Magistrate Patrick Kitiyo.

They were, however, sent back to remand after each of the accused failed to raise the required Shs500,000 for their bail, following a successful application by their lawyers, Henry Odama and Manzi Odama and Company Advocates.

Magistrate Kitiyo during the hearing of the application said: “I hereby grant the 25 accused bail of Shs500,000 each and their sureties Shs1m not cash. Bail is a constitutional right but conditions must be strictly followed.”
Meanwhile, during an earlier hearing on Tuesday, Mr Kitiyo noted that the matter was highly being politicised.
“I am aware of the tension between the two sides, leave alone its criminal matter before the state but I am mindful of the propelled political nature of the case,” he said.

He blamed the eviction team for failing to allow demarcation of the border line between Amuru and Adjumani districts before carrying on with their exercise.

State prosecutor Patrick Omia had earlier objected to the application, arguing that the accused never had a permanent residence and tracing them would be difficult because they were in a game reserve.

The Kilak Member of Parliament, Mr Gilbert Olanya, Amuru District chairperson Anthony Omach Atube and Pabbo Sub-county chairperson Christopher Ojera, had stood as sureties for the accused.

The suspects are facing charges of being armed in public, obstructing police on lawful duties and threatening violence.

The accused claimed that Apaa is their ancestral land which their parents acquired in the early 1970s.

A key prosecution witness, Captain Julius Obwona, the UWA commanding officer in the eviction, said during their operation, about 150 youths, who were armed with spears, bows and arrows, attacked their base.

Even after the incident that resulted in the death of one person, the joint team of the police, UWA and the army kept evicting the people.

Early last week, the team burnt down 150 huts in the area, chasing away about 4,000 people who have since taken refuge with relatives in Pabbo.

By Sam Lawino, Daily Monitor

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