Adjumani – The Paramount Chief of the Madi Stephen Drani Izakare, and Uganda Peoples Defence Forces boss, Maj Trevor Kibuuka have been set free over accusations regarding crime in Apaa area by Adjumani District es Paramount Chief Drani
The court acquitted Chief Drani in a Friday court session after the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) dropped several charges against him, jointly with others among them Maj Kibuuka, the Second in Command of the 71st Battalion and Sector Commander Apaa.
Adjumani Magistrates Court presided over by Magistrate Innocent Omara held that the accused persons were now free after the state submission that the charges had been withdrawn.
On April 19, this year, the Madi Paramount Chief Drani was remanded to Openzinzi prison after he was charged with seven counts of attempted murder and three counts of assault.
The alleged charges resulted from the April 10th incident at large in Ngoro West village, Aliwara Parish in Itirikwa sub-county after a group of people attacked and burnt houses and food stores belonging to the Acholi people.
Paramount Chief Drani was arrested over Easter Sunday violence on Apaa land where it is alleged that the Chief and the soldier, Maj Kibuuka incited a group of people who mobilised and tortured the locals in the area, and burnt houses.
They were accused of attempting to cause the death of seven people and assaulting others as well as burning children’s lips with burning cigarettes.
The cases came following the rescue of 12 people on April 9 by Maj Kibuuka and the Madi Paramount Chief Drani after they were called in to stop a mob action against suspected arsonists.
The 12 people from the Madi community were arrested by the Acholi residents who owned the houses that were burnt on Easter Day, April 9 this year.
Major Trevor Kibuuka
Earlier on, the residents wondered how the army and a team of civilians led by Paramount Chief who came in to save the situation could be accused of torture and other offences committed by suspects whom they saved from the angry residents.
The April Easter attack came three weeks after the army commanded by Maj Kibuuka had stopped all trucks going to Apaa to carry timber and charcoal which angered sections of leaders who benefit from collection levies on the trucks.
The residents from the Madi Community who declined to be named for safety of their life, accused the Police, a section of army officers and the Adjumani leadership of unfairness and biasness while discharging their duties in Apaa area.
The resident of Goro B Village accused the Police of coercing the suspects arrested in the arson attack to state that they were beaten by the army to claim for compensation from the government.
According to the residents, the violence in Apaa area is facilitated by the political leaders jointly with their counterparts in security in Adjumani District for their selfish interests in commercial charcoal dealings and logging in Zoka forest reserve.
They said that the accusations of torture and attempted against Paramount Chief Drani and Maj Kibuuka are aimed at maligning them and interfere with the peace initiatives that they are promoting between the Madi and the Acholi.