Six police officers charged with neglect of duty pleaded not guilty to the charge before the police Headquarters Disciplinary standby court sitting at Arua Municipal Council hall. The court presided over by ASP Denis Ogwong Odongpin is trying the officers for the offences they allegedly committed on the 13th day of August 2018 in Arua when the presidential convoy was allegedly interrupted and stoned by rowdy members of the public when he came to converse votes for the NRM Flagbearer in the Arua municipality By-election.
The officers who were summoned before this court include, the former regional police commander for westnile region Jonathan Musinguzi, former Arua DPC Abbas Ssenyonjo, regional CID officer Herbert Wanyoto, Arua OC traffic officer Onen Francis, regional criminal intelligence officer Mugweri Edward and Junena Robert Akia who is still on suspension.
The officers signed to confirm acceptance to be tried by a panel of three judges headed by ASP Denis Ogwong Odongpin. The charges were then read to all the six police officers starting with the former RPC Musinguzi Jonathan and former DPC Abas Ssenyonjo who were tried together.
The RPC and the DPC were charged with the offence of neglect of duty where prosecution alleged that, on 13th August 2018 while on duty, the two failed to adequately deploy security leading to interruption of the presidential convoy by rowdy members of the public on road and on caterpillar which led to stoning of one of the presidential motorcade.
Musinguzi regretted the 13th August incident saying it was so touching that his president was so embarrassed and humiliated by people from the opposition but said they were let down by senior police officers who took over command of operations that day.
Meanwhile the former DPC Abas Ssenyonjo said that the incident was truly an attack on the person of the president but as soon as he assessed the situation, he quickly informed the commander in charge that time and in turn he was abused and humiliated.
He prayed that their voices would be heard by this court.
The DPC, RPC and the rest of the officers charged with neglect of duty pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Hearing of the cases had to start expressly as prosecution in his submission said he had witnesses to testify against these officers before the court. END