“I admit he is a giant and powerful. I just felt a heavy blow landing on my left eye" one of the MPs said.
Aruu County Member of Parliament Odonga Otto and his Kilak North County counterpart Anthony Akol were on Thursday afternoon embroiled in a bitter argument that ended in a physical altercation.
At about 3:00 pm, as the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, made his way to the Parliament chamber, all hell broke loose as the two legislators who appeared to be in a casual discussion started fighting.
MPs were taken aback by the sight of Otto and Akol exchanging blows in the lobby of the parliamentary chamber without a single idea of what caused it.
According to the eyewitnesses that talked to the New Vision but preferred anonymity, the altercation was that happened in the pigeon hall lobby that is never accessed by journalists, happened so quickly.
One MP said Otto and Akol as well as Gulu Municipality MP Lyandro Komakech and Kilak South MP Gilbert Olanya seemed engaged in a discussion that looked arbitrary in nature as they spoke their native Acholi language.
Within no time, Akol lost his cool and threw punches at Otto who fell to the ground.
In retaliation, Otto grabbed a chair and threw it at Akol before security intervened to pull the two legislators apart.
Otto was later seen trying to force his way into the Parliament chamber where Akol went after the altercation but he wasn’t allowed in by Parliament Police who then led both legislators away so as not to interrupt proceedings.
Akol later accused Otto of tarnishing his name in his constituency, alleging that he collected money that was earmarked for the compensation of former occupants of the Amuru sugar plant land.
Akol further accused Otto of supporting his political opponents before claiming that the latter’s actions will cost him in the 2021 general elections.
The land under contention is located south of the Zoka Forest in Amuru district, became the subject of dispute when the Madhvani Group tried to secure at least 10,000 hectares to establish a sugar factory.
He acknowledged having a go at Otto saying that his actions were in self-defence because he was provoked and therefore cannot atone for his actions.
Speaking to New Vision after the altercation, Otto accusing Akol of selling communal land in Amuru and claimed that the latter admitted that sh300m was last week wired into Akol’s Centenary Bank account.
“I have just been discharged from Nakasero Hospital where I have received medical treatment. It is true we had a misunderstanding with Akol and unfortunately during the scuffle, a heavy blow landed on my left eye. I sustained serious injury and also, my left cheek got swollen,” Otto said.
“I admit Akol is a giant and powerful. I just felt a heavy blow landing on my left eye. I felt unconscious and fell down,” Otto narrated.
“After boxing me, Akol Immediately ran to the parliament chamber to take shelter,” he added.
Asked if he reported the case to Police, Otto said: “I will refer the case to the Speaker of Parliament who will forward the case to the Rules, Privileges and Discipline Committee.”
He further called on the Acholi ancestral gods to punish Akol for selling ancestral land in Amuru.