Gulu, Uganda | URN | Aruu North County Member of Parliament Samuel Odonga Otto has been remanded to Gulu Prison. Otto was charged with two counts of malicious damage to property, assault, and occasioning bodily harm.
He appeared for mention of the case before the Grade One Magistrate’s Court presided over by Edward Akwankwasa in Pader district on Friday 26, March 2021. The MP had spent a night at Pader Central Police detention cells after his transfer from Kampala to Gulu on Thursday 25th.
The prosecution alleges that Otto willfully and unlawfully damaged the windscreen of a Fuso vehicle registration number UAR 234C at Ogan-Kanakok in Pajule sub-county on May 6, 2018, as well as assaulting and causing bodily injuries to the driver Henry Mugisha. He pleaded not guilty to both charges.
The state prosecutor Thomson Epia told the court that the investigation into the case was complete and asked for a date to be fixed for the hearing to commence. The Magistrate consequently remanded Otto to Gulu Prison until April 6, noting that he will first be taken to Gulu Regional Referral Hospital for a COVID-19 checkup before being taken to the prison facility.
The magistrate however blocked a bail application for the accused by his defence lawyer and wife Juliet Otto and advised her to instead apply for bail on April 6. But Otto expressed dissatisfaction with the Magistrate’s move to deny her client bail in an interview with this publication.
She noted that she had moved with all the paper works for the bail and had more than 10 sureties.
Francis Olugu, the Deputy Director for Criminal Investigations Directorate told this publication in an interview that Otto is also facing two other charges of illegal possession of a gun and assault on a journalist. Olugu told our reporter in an interview that the police are still investigating the case of illegal possession of a firearm.
He however disclosed that Otto had not renewed his firearm license for the past three years.
Olugu says the case file is being perused by the Director of Public Prosecution.
Throughout the court proceeding, the police maintained heavy deployment and sealed off Pajule-Kwon kic road around the court premises.
Otto is later expected to appear at the Magistrate’s court in Gulu over charges of assault against a journalist in 2019.