Court Orders CID Officer To Pay UGX40 Million in Damages Over Illegal Detention

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The Iganga Chief Magistrate’s Court delivered a scathing rebuke to Officer-in-Charge of Criminal Investigations Department (CID) for Namutumba Police Station, Stella Nankunda. The ruling laid bare a disturbing tale of abuse of power and flagrant disregard for the rule of law.

At the heart of the matter were two dedicated public servants, Micheal Kaluusi and Richard Mwesigwa, whose mission to serve legal documents turned into a nightmare of unlawful detention and intimidation. Tasked with issuing legal documents to a woman, they found themselves on the receiving end of Nankunda’s unchecked authority.

Despite their lawful intentions, Nankunda’s actions plunged them into a harrowing ordeal, highlighting the dark underbelly of abuse within the police force. The court minced no words in its condemnation, deeming Nankunda’s behavior as a grave violation of personal liberty and a blatant abuse of the police uniform.

The verdict, demanding restitution to the tune of Shs40 million, served as a powerful reminder that no one, not even those entrusted with upholding the law, is above accountability. It sent a clear message that justice will prevail, even in the face of entrenched impunity.

“There is [a] need to grant all reliefs herein sought to deter errant arrogant officers of the Uganda Police like Ms Nankunda who act with gross impunity and abuse of the police uniform,” Chief Magistrate Daniel Epobu Kiboko said in the May 15 ruling.

Kiboko was in no compromising mood in the ruling as she whipped Ms Nankunda with further orders that the Shs40 million attracts a 10-percent interest from the date of the ruling.

CID Officer Nankunda tested the depth of the river with both feet on December, 14 2023, when two process servers filed a case of assault against Sulaina Logose to whom they had gone to effect service.

A process server is a support role in the legal and court system. Process servers hand deliver official court and legal documents such as subpoenas, summons, complaints, and more to individuals involved in court cases.

As the OC CID at Namutumba Police Station, Ms Nankunda instead, “without justification”, ordered for their detention from 2pm to 7pm.

The court heard that the officer rudely told the two process servers of her ethnic background and that she had the authority to do as she pleased and bragged that their file number SD 59/14/12/2023 could as well be considered gone.

Magistrate Kiboko decided to whip Ms Nankunda down to size, ordering her to issue a written public apology to the two process servers within 30 days from the ruling.

Kiboko said Kaluusi’s and Mwesigwa’s claims for Shs40 million in damages presented by their lawyers Steven Kalali of M/s Ssekaana Associated Advocates & Consultants, was “just and equitable”.

For Ms Nankunda and her lawyers, Musa Ssemwogerere of Ms Law Advocates, an appeal appears to be the way to go stop the deterrent punishment in which Magistrate Kiboko called for her head to roll.

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