GULU SHOOTING | AYIKI
Gulu District Police Commander, Joseph Ayiki, who was shot and injured last week, has denied climbing over a fence at the Through Art, Keep Smiling (TAKS) centre.
Ayiki has been dropped pending invstigations, by the Police Standards Unit, into the circumstances under which he was shot by an Exposs Security guard.
He said he entered the premises through the gate.
He said he went to the centre, located behind Acholi Inn in Gulu municipality to check on some friends. He said he was neither armed nor wearing Police uniform.
He said he had arrangements with his colleagues; the Adjumani district Police Commander (DPC) and the OC CID at the centre.
“When I left the CPS, I walked to the TAKS centre and reached in about 5 to 10 minutes. When I reached, I knocked at the main-gate made of Bamboo wood, but there was no response. I walked to the small-gate and knocked. And again, there was response. I decided to push the door and went inside the compound of the TAKS centre. While there, the place was well-light, but I could not see anyone. I called out, but there was no response. I then decided to sit on one of the plastic chairs in the compound. I picked my phone to make a call, but I realised that my MTN Paka-paka Airtime had expired. I could hear some low voices coming from one of the small houses within, but no one came out.
“I then got up and started walking back towards the small gate through which I entered. At this point, I saw someone walking towards me and suddenly shouted that I stop. He ordered me in Luo: ‘bed piny’ (sit down), but I could not understand until he used a body language that showed what he was telling me to do. I did not comply. He repeatedly shouted in a strong voice, then I went down on my knees while raising my hands.
"Again, he shouted: 'but piny' (lie down). I refused to comply because that spot was wet and muddy because it had rained the previous night. He asked me to introduce myself to him both in Kiswahili and English, but when I tried to do so, he could not understand me and also did not give me time to talk while I was lying down. But the guy surprised me with a bullet in my thigh. He just shot me,” Ayiki narrated.
Ayiki said the guard then stepped away and talked on the phone with someone.
He said he then used the opportunity to take off his canvass shoes and pull out the shoelaces, which he used to tie his right thigh to avoid over bleeding.
"When the guard returned, I heard a truck coming and I was carried by some people, including a UPDF soldier, who I think came from Acholi Hotel after hearing a gun-shot, and carried me in the truck. I regained my consciousness in the hospital,” he added.
Ayiki said he could neither dress in the police uniform, arm himself, nor pick either a body guard or escorts because he was on a private mission, not official work.
“It is not true that I climbed over a fence. First of all, there is not proper wall at the TAKS centre. The place just has Bamboos that one cannot climb over. I just thought I would quickly go meet and pick up my friend and go for a short wedding meeting."
He said he did not know that his friends had left in the afternoon due to an emergency in Adjumani, since he had been busy with other officers trying to quell a strike by students of Gulu University.
Ayiki is at Lacor Hospital in Gulu, where he was admitted after the incident on Tuesday, November 28.
He said his condition was steadily improving and that he hopes to get out of the hospital in about a month. He was able to get up and move supported by a four-roller trolley to and from his bed side room toilet and to the bed by the time The New Vision visited him at 1:30pm on Wednesday.
Ayiki was transferred to Gulu in June this year as the officer in-charge of station, and was later appointed the Acting DPC of Gulu. Previously, he served as the OC-Station at Jinja East (2016).
He similary served as the OC-Station at Bwoma-Mawokota, South Mpigi district (2011-2016), after which he was the Office in-charge of Integrated Highway Police command at Katonga, commanding Gomba and Mpigi districts between 2011 and 2016.