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Judge orders CMI to produce Col. Ndahura in court

Wife of detained UPDF officer who served in Police Force petitioned the High Court to have him produced and charged

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HIGH COURT–High Court judge Musa Ssekaana has ordered the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) to produce Col. Atwooki Ndahura Birakurataki in court.

The court order follows a petition by Nduhura’s wife seeking for an order to compel CMI and the Attorney General (AG) to have her husband produced in court, citing that the life of the  former Director Crime Intelligence in Uganda Police Force was in danger.

Mrs Sarah Ndahura, through their lawyer Ochieng Associated Advocates, filed an Habeas Corpus application after what she described as an “illegal arrest of her husband by armed men led by Maj Gen Sam Okiding, the commandant UPDF Artillery Masindi Barracks,” on June 11 from Peace Corner Motel in Masindi Town.

A Habeas Corpus application is made in court seeking a person under detention to be brought before a judge or magistrate especially to secure that person’s release unless lawful grounds are shown to justify their continued incarceration.

The respondents in this case include the Attorney General, the head of Military Intelligence Brig. Abel Kandiho, the Inspector General of Police John Martins Okoth-Ochola and and the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen. David Muhoozi.

In her affidavit, Mrs Ndahura claims her husband, who is no stranger to controversy, having been variously named in election violence reports in 2001, is being held incommunicado and has not been produced in any court or charged in any competent court or given access to his family members, lawyers and doctors.

“I am advised by my lawyers whose advice I verily believe to be true that this court has powers to grant the reliefs sought and also to summon the IGP, CMI and CDF to explain the whereabouts of Lt Col Ndahura,” she said in the affidavit in support of the main application.

“I believe the life of Lt Col Ndahura is in danger unless court intervenes,” Mrs Ndahura added.

In his ruling, Justice Musa Ssekaana, of the High Court Civil Division, agreed with the reasons cited by Col. Atwooki’s wife saying there is no justification for the continued detention without trial.

“This is a proper case and court accordingly issues a harbeus corpus to be returned on July 2,” Ssekaana ruled Tuesday morning.

The army in March recalled Col. Atwooki who had earlier served as a commander in the Presidential Protection Unit (now Special Forces Command) from Police where he had been serving as the Director in charge of Crime Intelligence.

He was in 2015 appointed the head the Crime Intelligence, which was a new unit in the Force formed in the wave of a spate of violent crimes in the country which had been attributed to lack of intelligence coordination by the Police.

He was later on June 11 arrested by the army in Masindi before being detained at Makindye.

Col.Ndahura is among the 26 people, including police and military officers, who have been arrested as part of wider investigations into the activities of detained former IGP Kale Kayihura. Those arrested include a number of former police commanders, including the former cyber-crime head Richard Ndaboine, former Flying Squad commander Herbert Muhangi, former Professional Standards Unit commander Good Mwesigwa, and Lt Col Peter Musherure, the former deputy police director of crime intelligence.

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