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UPDF captain, State House official remanded for extortion

Captain Emmanuel Abaho (Left) and Wilberforce Turyakira an Assistant Private Secretary in charge of Environmental Affairs in State House appearing at Nakawa court. Courtesy photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Nakawa Chief Magistrate’s Court has remanded two government officials on charges of extortion and impersonation. They are Wilberforce Turyakira, the Assistant Private Secretary in Charge of Environmental Affairs in State House and Captain Emmanuel Abaho.

The duo appeared on Thursday afternoon before Nakawa Chief Magistrate, Dr. Douglas Singiza. It is alleged that on August 8th, 2020 while at Masheda farm in Buyala along Mityana road in Mpigi district, the accused persons presented themselves to Norman Ekyarisima as officials from the National Environment Management Authority who were conducting an environmental impact assessment on his fish farm.

It is also alleged that on August 11th, 2020 while at Cafe Javas city oil branch in Kamokya, the accused extorted Shillings 800,000 from Esther Ampumuza to purportedly exonerate her from building a hotel in a wetland. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and applied for bail through their lawyers led by Gerald Batanda.

Batanda told court that the offenses against the accused persons are bailable and that his clients have substantial sureties. He presented relatives and friends of the accused persons as sureties. The State Attorney asked court for time to verify the documents presented by the sureties which was granted.

Prior to the adjournment, the Magistrate questioned the capacity of the sureties presented by Captain Abaho to ensure he appears in court when needed. Abaho had presented Balam Kantu Tabamuzigu and Noel Asiimwe, both civilians. Singiza asked them in vain how they will able to command a serving soldier to return to court.

As a result, he remanded the accused persons up to September 28th, 2020 to enable the State Attorney verify documents of the sureties. He also advised the Defense lawyers to write to the Chief of Defense Forces or Land Forces to see if they can get sureties who are of Abaho’s rank or above him.

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