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Court of Appeal quashes sentence of former PPDA official convicted of murder

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A former procurement officer at the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority-PPDA, Diana Nabbengo Luutu has been set free by the Court of Appeal after quashing her conviction of murdering her husband, Asiimwe Hannington Musasizi.

She had been sentenced to 23 years of imprisonment on April 17th, 2020, by then High Court Justice Jane Francis Abodo.

Prosecution alleged that on August 24th, 2016, at Kazo-Lugoba zone in Kawempe division, Nabbengo stabbed her husband who was later rushed to Mulago hospital but died a few days later on August 28th.

Prosecution told court that on the fateful day, Nabbengo sent her maid and her two children to buy a cake for one of the children before stabbing her husband and locking him in the kitchen. That she then moved out of the house and returned later and took Asiimwe to Mulago hospital where he later died.

The late suffered a bruise on the front chest, two wounds in the muscles and a wound on one of the lungs.

Justice Abodo said that the prosecution had proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Nabbengo killed her husband and hence convicted her for murder and sentenced her to 23 years, nine months and 3 days imprisonment.

Part of the prosecution’s evidence was that the late told people that they should ask his wife what had happened to him because she knew, and that he also said that they should not let her take his vehicle.

However, Nabbengo appealed against the ruling saying that the judge erred in law and fact in finding that she was an active participant in committing the crime, that the judge based on weak and unsatisfactory circumstantial evidence and that she was handed a harsh and excessive sentence.

Now in their judgement, the panel of three judges, Justice Engonda-Ntende, Justice Catherine Bamugemereire and Justice Christopher Madrama ruled that the offense of murder was not proved to the required standard against the appellant Nabbengo.

They ruled that it was erroneous for the earlier judge not to consider inconsistencies in the evidence of prosecution yet no body ever saw Nabbengo commit the offence.

The panel also ruled that the alleged declaration of the deceased is questionable. They hence quashed the sentence and ordered that Nabbengo be released unless arrested on any other ground.

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