On April 30, Chapter Four’s @nickopiyo appeared in court for mention of the spurious criminal charge in money laundering case.

In this #thread, we reproduce highlights of the court proceedings.

#Uganda | #iStandWithNicholasOpiyo
State: Your Honour, inquiries into this matter (case against @nickopiyo) are still ongoing. We pray for an adjournment.
“Your Worship, the State has adopted a practice which reduces these proceedings to a ritual and a recitation of certain incantations. On each occasion that we come here, the State says inquiries are still ongoing.” - @dfkm1970, @nickopiyo’s lawyer. 1/8
“This honourable court had put these proceedings on a fairly tight schedule and the State complained that the tight schedule was not enabling them to make progress on the investigations.” - @dfkm1970 2/8
“And this honourable court indulged and gave them two months the last time we were here in order that there will be a report on the progress of the investigations and meaningful statement of how matters would progress.” - @dfkm1970 3/8
“If each time we come we hear the same reservations, the same incantations - investigations are ongoing, we pray for an adjournment, investigations are ongoing, we pray for an adjournment - it becomes like a holy mass if it said again and again.” - @dfkm1970 4/8
“Your Worship, it distinguishes the fact that courts have time and again said to the State they should not carry out arrests before investigations! Because your worship, this is about the real life for the human being, Mr. @nickopiyo,” - @dfkm1970 5/8
“Your Worship, we are in April. If we now take the new cycle, the next occasion will be June, July and we don't know what status the investigations are in, we don't know when prosecution will be ready.” - @dfkm1970 6/8
“Your Worship, my prayer would be - and again I don't say this because it is my ritual obligation to do so - but Your Worship, court should now hold the state to account and dismiss these charges for want of prosecution. They clearly never intend to be ready.” - @dfkm1970 7/8
“Our client continues being tossed from pillar to post & his property (laptop, iPhone, AirPods, cash, ULS ID card) is not being returned to him. Your Worship, let us call this what it is - this is abuse of process, it is an abuse of our client's rights.” - @dfkm1970 8/8
State: Your Honour, I appreciate the concerns that have been raised by Counsel @dfkm1970 in as far as the duration that the inquiries have taken. However, this being a complex matter of its nature,... we humbly pray that the inquires are given more ample time to be concluded. 1/2
State: In respect to the property, the directives of court have since been communicated to the investigators (@PoliceUg) in this matter and a position will be taken. You know, these properties are part of the investigations your honour but the position will be communicated. 2/2
Counsel @dfkm1970 in brief rejoinder:

“Your Worship, ample time could be a month, three or even 6 years. Your Worship, the court should not grant indulgence in disregard of the accused's rights under Article 28 of the Constitution of a fair and speedy trial.” 1/2
“The State should not take courts indulgence for granted. We have never been told - the court has never been told - the status of these investigations. Courts should never entertain open-ended applications for adjournments...” - @dfkm1970 2/2
Ruling by H/W Moses Nabende:

“This court observes that the @ODPPUGANDA has not or failed to appropriately respond to the issues raised by the accused's counsel that is to say on when they intend to conclude the investigations and in regard to the property of the accused.” 1/5
“Court did grant long adjournment to State to appropriately respond. Counsel in the premises asked to have this matter dismissed under section 119 because of the above reasons.” - H/W Nabende. 2/5
“The court is or would have done so but it must appraise itself on the law on jurisdiction - this court lacks the same jurisdiction to dismiss the charge.” - H/W Nabende. 3/5
“Then, what would be the remedy? It is my considered view that the State be given the last adjournment (to respond to the two issues appropriately) and if they fail to do so, the matter shall be placed before the judge with jurisdiction for further directives.” - H/W Nabende. 4/5
“One month. Last time you (State) were given 2 months and you have not done anything. It appears you want shorter adjournments. Matter has been fixed for May 31 at 9am, accused's bail extended.” - H/W Nabende. 5/5

End of #Thread.

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More from @chapterfourug

28 Mar 20
In his judgment in the #POMA petition, Hon. Mr. Justice Kenneth Kakuru concurred with Hon. Mr. Justice Cheborion Barishaki's lead judgment in annuling the Public Order Management Act, 2013.

He however made several observations. In this #thread, we share a few highlights.
"I am unable to discern from the long title the objective of #POMA. It could not be that this country, which is stated by government to have been on a steady path of progress since 1986, has suddenly become unruly and unmanageable." ~ Justice Kakuru.
"Almost every freedom & or right in its enjoyment has a likelihood of impacting negatively on other people's rights. But that is the nature & price of democracy. The contention that, public assemblies would disrupt businesses or traders has no basis at all ~ Justice Kakuru

Read 25 tweets

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