Police, Residents Clash At Lira Court

Lira magistrate’s court was a scene of clashes between residents and heavily armed police on Tuesday afternoon.

Jonathan Odur FAPAD deputy director during the clash
Jonathan Odur FAPAD deputy director during the clash

It all started after police attempted to block Jonathan Odur, the deputy executive director for Facilitation for Peace and Development- FAPAD and his supporters from Erute south from leading a procession along Obote Avenue while leaving court.

Odur appeared before Naomi Kikoya, the Lira Grade one magistrate to answer charges of inciting violence and assaulting NRM supporters including Moses Opio, Janet Akidi among others.

The case was adjourned until April 1st 2014 when the state is expected to present more witnesses. Shortly after the adjournment of his case, Odur and his supporters left court and attempted to access Obote Avenue but they were intercepted by heavily armed cops led by Richard Aruk Maruk, the Central Northern Regional Police Commander and a violence clash ensued. Police violently arrested Odur and one of his supporters identified as David Angulu.  The duo was taken to Lira central police station, where they were held at 9pm before they were released.

David Angulu one of Odur's supporters during the arrest
David Angulu one of Odur’s supporters during the arrest

Patrick Ogwang, an eye witness says that the clashes started after police picked up Odur at the main gate of the court.

Manshur Suwed, the Central North regional spokesperson says they moved to arrest Odur to prevent him from leading a procession through the town center.

He could neither deny nor confirm the claims of brutal arrest of Odur and Angulu. This is the second time Odur has been involved in brutal confrontations with the police.

Odur was arrested last year for allegedly masterminding the attack on Sam Engola, the state minister for housing Sam Engola by the relatives of the late Phoebe Ayuu, a former NRM cadre in Amach Sub County.

The minister was accused of neglecting Ayuu before she died.

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