The police officer who arrested Tony Nsubuga Kipoi, the jailed former Bubulo West member of parliament didn’t know the crime he was wanted for.
Kipoi was picked up in 2012 by police officer Bernard Turyamureeba who was then working with the Flying Squad Unit attached to Kawempe police station. Last week, Kipoi’s whereabouts became a mystery after he was picked up from Luzira prison where he was earlier remanded.
According the prison authorities, Kipoi was picked from Luzira by Military Police and taken to the High court on the orders of Justice Musa Sekaana. However Kipoi was not presented in court and the General Court Martial denied knowledge of the production warrant used by the alleged Military Police officials to pick Kipoi from Luzira.
He resurfaced yesterday and Turyamureeba told the General Court Martial chaired by Lt. Gen Andrew Gutti that on December 22, 2012, he received a call from Fred Tumuhairwe, the then assistant commander of the Flying Squad under Kampala Metropolitan Police (KMP) instructing him to report to the late Andrew Felix Kaweesi, the former KMP commander.
According to Turyamureeba, Kaweesi instructed him to assemble a team of good officers for a mission to arrest Kipoi. Turyamureeba says he selected three detectives to escort him to Kabarole where they had been instructed to pick up Kipoi on grounds that he had a case to answer at the CID headquarters in Kireka.
The detectives included Sgt Alex Muhairwe, Cpl Wilson Mafabi and Martin Kisitu. According to Turyamureeba, the team set off for Kabarole around midnight and arrived in the morning. He explained that they were received by a one Cpt Kashakamba who is now at the rank of major.
Turyamureeba told court he couldn’t recall the second name of the officer and said Kashakamba directed them to Tmoot hotel where Kipoi was. He explained that upon arrival, they introduced themselves to the gateman before a female receptionist directed them to the gardens where Kipoi was.
Turyamureeba says they found Kipoi with six others namely Lt. Sam Magomu, Col John Musinguzi Bebwa, Etienne Muhumuza, Cpt Wandwasi, Lt SB Yashin and Simire Dewoba, who they later discovered was a Lt. Col. with the Congolese army. The suspects were reportedly taking tea in a meeting chaired by Kipoi.
Turyamureeba, who is currently attached to Kiryadongo police station, said upon searching the group, they found Kipoi in possession of Ugandan and American currency notes. He however, didn’t tell court how much money they found on Kipoi. Kipoi smiled in the dock while his colleagues looked on in amusement. The officer also said they found Kipoi with other personal belongings including mobile phones.
He told court that Kipoi and his group didn’t resist arrest and were taken to a waiting minibus that drove them to the CID headquarters in Kireka. He explained that upon arrival in Kireka, he handed the suspects to the officer-in-charge of CID whose names he couldn’t recall. During cross examination, Kipoi’s lawyer retired Maj Ronald Iduli asked Turyamureeba if he knew the offences for which Kipoi was wanted before he effected the arrest.
In his reply, Turyamureeba said he didn’t know the offences Kipoi had committed, saying his only role was to arrest him as directed by the KMP commander Kaweesi. Turyamureeba also said that when he arrested Kipoi, he didn’t tell him why he was under arrest. He also told court that he didn’t record the exhibits/items found with Kipoi.
“I didn’t have any exhibit slips because the items I found with Kipoi, were his personal belongings”, said Turyamureeba.
Turyamureeba also said that by the time he arrested Kipoi, he didn’t inform the then Flying Squad commander, Nixon Agasirwe, saying he didn’t have formal arresting orders for the former legislator save for the instructions from the late Kaweesi.
Court Martial chairperson Lt Gen Gutti remanded Kipoi to Makindye military barracks “for his personal safety” until November 19, 2018. According to Gutti, Kipoi is more secure in the military barracks compared to Luzira maximum prison.
Kipoi was extradited from Botswana to Uganda early this year, and charged in the military court together with six UPDF soldiers for offences related to security. Prosecution alleges that between 2011 and 2012 the accused contrived a plot to overthrow President Yoweri Museveni’s government.