By Sania Babirye
The General court Martial sitting in Makindye has finally granted bail to the Former Bubulo West MP Tonny Kipoi Nsubuga and his seven co accused without any condition.
Kipoi has been on remand at Makindye Military barracks since the 21st of March 2018 after he was charged with offenses related to National security by the General court Martial.
While releasing him today, the seven member court chaired by Lt.Gen.Andrew Gutti was in agreement with Kipoi’s defense team led by Charles Ssekayita that it would be constitutionally right to release the suspects despite having no suruties since prosecution did not make a reply to Kipoi’s application in which he is seeking amnesty.
His co accused include Yusuf Kiisa, Rogers Mweru,James Shimali,Yunus Lamertga,Cassim Adams Mawa,Sergent Okeng and Ifosiga Saidi.
An as a result the army court gave the accused their temporally freedom and ordered that they each report to the court registrar every first Thursday of every month.
On the 18th of February this year, Kampala high court judge Jane Francis Abodo denied bail to Kipoi because he was being tried in the army court and that he was charged with capital offenses related to National security.
His bail application was heard in his absentia after his lawyer Richard Iduli informed court that the UPDF had deliberately refused to produce Kipoi in court two consecutive times despite having served them to do so.
Iduli had asked justice Abodo to have the matter adjourned so that the army can be issued with a production warrant to have Kipoi produced in court, the judge ruled that it would be better to proceed with hearing of the bail application since the army has not responded twice despite being served with the production warrants twice.
Then Iduli asked court to grant his client bail on grounds that it is his constitutional right and the fact that he is being detained in an illegal detention of the army at Makindye military barracks yet he is not a soldier but a civilian.
Iduli further stated that his client’s arrest in Botswana on the 18th of March 2018 was illegal because their was no warrant of arrest issued nor any extradition proceedings conducted while being brought back in the country.
Iduli further stated that that the charge of offenses related to security is similar to the the offense offense of treason that he was already discharged of by the DPP and that the same DPP acted centrally to the constitution when he directed the army to have Kipoi tried in the military court.
He also said that his client should be given bail since he is already challenging the jurisdiction of the General court Martial to try him in the constitutional court .
Kipoi also presented two sureties including his uncle Moses Mpasa a retired civil servant and his brother Bosco Weiko to stand as his sureties to ensure that he returned court once granted bail and that he had a fixed place of aboard at Bukaso village 1 in Manafa district.
However prosecutions asked court to not grant bail to kipoi on grounds that he is likely to abscond bail since he is charged with a capital offense related to national security, his sureties are not substantial and that prosecutions is ready to try the case.
Kipoi was charged on the 19th of March 2018 jointly with 5 UPDF soldiers including Sgt. Yunus Lemeriga, CPL Rogers Mwiru, Sgt. Adams Mawa, Sgt. Albino Okenge and private Ddodola Ijosiga.
These however pleaded not guilty to the offense before the 7 member court chaired by Lt. Gen Andrew Gutti.
Kipoi is said to have committed the offenses between November 2012 and December 2013, while on diverse districts in Uganda, were he convened meetings to recruit soldiers with an intention of prejudicing the security of defense forces .
Kipoi was later remanded back to Luzira prison where he had been on charges of attempting to traffic 20 people from Bukedea district to the DR. Congo while his co-accused have been remanded to Makindye Military barracks.
But he was later transferred to Makindye military barracks.
In 2012 Kipoi was arrested and charged with treason and human trafficking after he was accused of recruiting youths from both Uganda and DRC as rebels to oust President Museveni, however he fled the country into Congo immediately after being granted bail.
His case was later referred before the General court martial and the army court in 2014 issued warrant of arrest for Kipoi’s head despite being on the run.
The parliament of Uganda also threw him out of parliament after he missed 15 sittings with out giving any justified reason for missing.
Kipoi who was extradited from Botswana in in 2018 where he is said to have fraudulently obtained money amounting to 111.6 million from two women in Botswanas ) while disguising as a native doctor whereas not.