KAMPALA. Buganda Road Magistrates Court will decide early next month whether to accept the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)’s decision not to try the UPC leader for trespass.
Ruling on the matter in which Lira Municipality MP Jimmy Akena is accused of illegally occupying the party’s Uganda House has been set for January 15, 2016. Court was prompted to set the date after a private lawyer, Mr Mulema Mukasa, contested a withdrawal note from the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Mike Chibita, presented to court by the prosecutor, Ms Emily Ninsiima.
The matter had come up for plea before Magistrate Mary Kisakye when Ms Ninsiima told court that she has instructions from the DPP withdrawing charges.
Mr Akena is charged alongside 14 other people, including fellow legislators Mr Maxwell Akora (Maruzi County – Apac), Mr Fred Ebil (Kole County) and Ms Betty Amongi (Oyam County).
“this is to inform court that the Director of Public Prosecutions has decided to discontinue proceedings against Akena and fourteen others charged with criminal tresspass,” the withdrawal letter reads in part.
The case was set to be prosecuted by private lawyers, Mr Mukasa and David Ssempala, hired by the complainant, Milton Obote Foundation and Uganda House Investments Ltd.
However, on October 6, the Resident State Attorney, Mr Jonathan Nuwagaba, stated the DPP had instructed him to appear “and show desire to take over prosecution of this matter” which request was granted but, he was to prosecute the matter in conjunction with the private lawyers. Shortly after the prosecutor presented the letter from the DPP, Mr Mukasa contested it citing the DPP had not consulted the complainants before drafting his withdrawal note. Mr Mukasa said as private prosecutors they are ready to proceed with six witnesses in court.
Another private lawyer, Mr Ssempala, weighed and submitted that should the court go ahead to consider the DPP’s letter they will petition the Constitutional Court seeking for a resolution on whether the DPP has authority to withdraw a matter which is as well privately prosecuted without offering a reason to the complainants.
He further refuted assertions by the state prosecutor that the DPP took over the matter, declaring that the DPP has never written a formal application to court requesting to take over the matter.
Others charged with Mr Akena are Mr Higenyi Kemba, Mr Richard Angweri, Mr Patrick Mwondha, Ms Night Kulabako, Mr Gideon Akomu, Ms Kallen Mugizi, Ms Brenda Atim, Mr Fahad Kilyiri, Mr Patrick Aroma and Ms Josephine Babirye. None of the suspects was present in court.
Prosecution contends that on or about June 5, the accused and others entered upon the property of Milton Obote Foundation and Uganda House investments Ltd at Uganda House without lawful authorisation with intent to commit an offence and to intimidate, annoy and insult the property owners, managers and other lawful users.
It further states that the accused persons and others at large violently and forcefully entered upon and took over possession of the 6th floor of the said property.