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Airbase boss ‘set free from military detention’

By Hudson Apunyo

Added 6th July 2016 07:02 AM

His family says Opito was released Tuesday evening at around 5pm local time.

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His family says Opito was released Tuesday evening at around 5pm local time.

KAMPALA - Entebbe airbase garrison commander Col. Dan Opito Odwee (pictured) has been set free from Makindye military detention, family sources have confirmed.

His daughter Anna Ogwang said her father was released Tuesday evening at around 5pm local time but gave no details.

The family last Wednesday morning were allowed to visit and talk to him for the first time since his arrest over three weeks ago on alleged subversive activities.

A former rebel commander from Lango, Col. Opito was arrested on June 11 from his place of work in Entebbe and kept incommunicado until when his wife Kate Opito and daughter were allowed to see him.

His wife last week told New Vision that she had tried several times to see her husband but was denied access.

Daughter Anna last week said he was well and healthy. She said he was not even handcuffed during the time of arrest and not tortured as alleged on social media.

She said she visited him together with his wife and were given ample time – about one hour – to be with him.

For all this time, Opito has not been taken to court, a violation of his right under the law of Uganda.

Efforts to get comments from UPDF/Defence spokesperson Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda were fruitless.

'THIRD ARREST'

In October 2011, Opito was among 29 airforce officers decorated for outstanding service in the force. He was also one of the officers who received independence medals in 2013.

According to sources, it was the third time Col. Opito was being arrested and detained since the NRM came into power.

He reportedly joined the army in the early 1980s as a cadet officer during the Obote II government and served as a battalion commander in West Nile and by 1986 he was army captain in the army.

Opito reportedly was one of the commanders of the Ninth October Movement (NOM) that carried out insurgency into Lango region in the early days of the NRM administration.

He gave up rebellion and was integrated in the NRA (now UPDF). The military man was a few years later arrested and held in Lubiri military barracks for about three years before he was cleared and redeployed.

The Colonel was reportedly scheduled to travel to the US later last month for further training.

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