The Aruu County Member of Parliament, Odonga Otto is wanted by police for escaping lawful custody. The legislator was picked up by officers from Awere Police Station in Awere trading center in Pader district on allegations of violating the Electoral Commission guidelines on campaigning past 6 pm.
However, Otto escaped from the officers at Rackoko trading center in Awere Sub-county about 10 pm. a source at the police station told URN on condition of anonymity that prior to the legislator’s arrest, a fight broke out between his supporters and those of his closest rival independent parliamentary candidate, Christopher Komakech.
He notes that a vehicle carrying the public address system belonging to Komakech and some supporters approached Awere trading center on their way to a different venue but Otto’s supporters pelted it with stones prompting police to intervene. According to the source, Otto was requested to calm down his supporters before the Police led him away.
Fred Sankara, an eye witness notes that while at Rackoko trading center, a standoff ensued between the supporters of Otto and Komakech forcing Police to halt their movement with the arrested legislator. Sankara says that during the melee Police used live bullets to stop the clashes. The MP took advantage of the situation to escape on foot to an unknown destination leaving behind his vehicle.
“As we speak now, Otto’s vehicle is in the middle of the road being guarded by police, he has escaped,” Sankara told URN in a telephone interview on Wednesday night. The Awere Sub-county LCIII Chairperson, Charles Odongtoo also noted that Otto escaped in a dramatic manner from the police.
“It’s true the police arrested him from Awere trading center but when he reached Rackoko, there was a fight between him and another supporter of his opponent and that’s where he escaped,” he said.
Pader District Police Commander, Ramathand Tai, confirmed to URN that Otto indeed escaped from police shortly after his arrest. Tai says Police are hunting for the legislator to answer charges of violating the Electoral Commission guidelines of late campaigns.
Shortly after his escape, the legislator took his Facebook page, saying he was a free man. “I am not arrested by police; I am not at Pader central police station. Maybe it’s my ghost in police custody. I am where I am,” reads the short text.
Otto has not been in good books with the Police in Pader district. About a week ago, the Police ordered his arrest over allegations of uttering sensitive security information during his campaigns in Pader Town Council. Through his official Twitter page, the legislator also accused the Deputy Inspector General of Police Maj. Gen. Paul Lokech of hosting religious leaders at his home in Pader District to purportedly cast a spell on him to lose the elections in favour of his rival, Komakech.