Members of the community welcomed the verdict and said this should serve as a reminder to any other LDU personnel who are terrorising them.
OYAM | LDU | UPDF
A Local Defence Unit (LDU) officer has been jailed for life for killing an elderly man in Kamdini in Oyam district.
The 5th Division Court Martial, sitting at Amati Primary School where the offence took place, sentenced Thomas Jolly Opoka, 22, to life imprisonment, while his two accomplices; Felix Okumu, 20, was sentenced to 40 years. Godfrey Ogwang, 42, a UPDF officer, will serve 20 years.
Court said the soldiers killed Francis Ogwang Munu, 65, a resident of Amati A village in Kamdini sub-county, Oyam district. Before their sentencing, prosecution urged court to give them a deterrent sentence.
The prosecutor said: "The President warned security forces not to beat any civilian, while enforcing COVID-19 directives; he even termed the culprits as pigs." "One wonders why the accused persons would attack peaceful people during broad day light and commit murder," he added.
Prosecution said the force has come from very far with a clean record and that they will not accept a few members that taint their image. Defence lawyer Abubakari Nyombi, however, pleaded for leniency for all the accused.
He said Ogwang has been in the force for 17 years and that he is married, with four schoolgoing children. For Okumu and Opoka, defence ruled they have been in LDU for less than a year and that they lack experience.
He said the Constitutional Court ruled that death sentence is unconstitutional in the case of Susan Kigulu and others. But the prosecutor said they should not have killed someone, having known they also have children that would suffer.
The court chairperson, Col. Paul Omara, said the accused persons were found guilty of murder, contrary to the Penal Code.
Members of the community welcomed the verdict and said this should serve as a reminder to any other LDU personnel who are terrorising them. Bosco Ogwang Atoli, the area councillor, commended the court for reaching out to the community.
Ogwang said he was satisfied with the verdict. Kenneth Ojok Munu, a younger of Francis Ogwang, said he was satisfied with the verdict. He, however, appealed to court to look into compensation over the death of his brother and his children. Collin Amongi, a member of Ogwang's family, said she would have preferred the convicts to suffer death.