Big Story: Court Martial Remands Student Over Illegal Possession of Gov’t Stores

A Law student at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States of America has been remanded to Kitalya Government Prison on charges of unlawful possession of government stores.

Joachim Elepu a resident of Namasuba in Wakiso District was arraigned before a seven-member panel of the General Court Martial presided over by Lt General Andrew Gutti. 

It is alleged that on December 23, 2019, while at Namasuba Entebbe Road in Wakiso District Elepu was found in unlawful possession of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces Veterans’ Nominal Roll.

The Veterans’ Nominal Roll is a document in form of a list with names and personal details of soldiers/ Veterans who have been scheduled for payment.

Prosecution states that when Elepu was in possession of the list, he started contacting some of the veterans or the relatives of those who were already deceased and defrauded them. He would reportedly impersonate himself as a Colonel who would help the said people to go through the payment process faster.

It took about five minutes for the Judge Advocate Lt Col Richard Tukacungurwa to convince the 24-year-old to accept a lawyer given to him by the State or to get his before the court starts.

But Elepu insisted that he doesn’t want any lawyer unless court forces him to do so. But after informing him that his offence attracts a maximum of life imprisonment sentence upon conviction, Elepu accepted to be represented by Elizabeth Nyansingwa the lawyer provided by the State. He pleaded not guilty to the charge against him.

Prosecution led by Major Emmy Ekyaruhanga told the court that investigations are still on-going and asked to remand the accused.

Elepu, who was arrested by the detectives attached to the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, was accordingly remanded up to February 15, 2021, when he will be returning for mention.  

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