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Assault victims unhappy over slow pace of court case

Lillian Nabaggala Maximillian (L) with her witnesses who accompanied her for the botched assault case at Gulu Chief Magistrate’s Court – Photo by Dominic Ochola

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  |  Two victims who were last year assaulted in Gulu have expressed concern about the delays by the court to hear their case. 

Lillian Nabaggala Maximillian aged 30 and Shamsa Kayoya, 25, all residents of Kampala were assaulted on the night of December 28th, 2020 at KSP Hotel located along Queen’s Avenue in Gulu City.

They were allegedly assaulted by Gilbert Kilara aged 20, and a resident of Cuk Lakor Ward, Vanguard Parish in Gulu City East Division. 

It is alleged that the victims checked at the Hotel at 11:00 pm after attending their friend’s wedding at Acholi Inn Hotel Ltd. While at the hotel, they found Kilara who asked Kayoya to join him for a meal at the reception.

However, Kayoya reportedly declined Kilara’s offers, prompting him to rise in anger and physically assaulted her and threatening to throw her down from the hotel balcony. 

Without help forthcoming, Nabaggala attempted to restrain Kilara who also kick and slapped her. Both Kayoya and Nabaggala’s injuries were confirmed in a medical examination by Vincent Ojok, the Senior Anesthetic of Kony Pacu II Clinic on December 29th.

In January, the suspect was arraigned in Court before Gulu Chief Magistrate Vian Kwizira with three counts of assault and occasioning bodily harm. He was granted non-cash bail of 500,000 shillings without the notice of the victims. 

Another hearing was scheduled for February 4th but it was adjourned to April 26th because Kwizira was not in the office at the time. 

On Monday, Kwizira again adjourned the case to May 20, a decision that angered the victims who broke down. 

Nabaggala says they spend over 500,000 shillings each time they travel to Gulu yet they don’t get served.

Grace Katate who is also a witness and accompanied Nabaggala expressed concern that the case is being given very little attention since it happened four months ago.

According to the Police Annual Crime Report of 2020 ranks Gulu among the top 10 districts with the highest cases of common assaults with 430 cases. North Kyoga registered the highest number of cases of Common assaults in 2020, followed by Rwizi, East Kyoga and Aswa among other regions as shown in the figure below.

Overall, police recorded 30,712 cases of assaults across the country representing 15.6% of all the cases reported compared to 31,895 cases reported in 2019, giving a 3.7% decrease.

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