Bobi Wine Released, Bail to be Cancelled Should He Participate in Unlawful Assembly

A joyous Bobi Wine after court accepted his bail request. He followed proceedings via a video feed. (Photo: @Bamulanzeki)

Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine has Thursday been granted bail after spending four days at Luzira maximum prison.

The singer and opposition politician was granted a Shs 1 million cash bail by Buganda Road Court magistrate, Esther Nahirya.

His sureties included MPs Mbwatekamwa Gaffa, Patrick Nsamba Oshabe and former Ethics minister, Miria Matembe (each gave Shs 10 million non cash).

As one of the bail conditions, the magistrate has restricted the legislator from involving in unlawful assemblies, short of which his bail will be cancelled.

The application hearing was conducted via video conferencing from court while the accused was in Luzira maximum.

Earlier, prosecution led by Timothy Amerit, told court that the accused should not be granted bail since the offence of disobeying statutory authority is grave. Prosecution argued that security ought to protect other members of society from the applicant’s unlawful acts.

But Bobi Wine’s defence lawyers, led by Sam Muyizzi, said claims by prosecution were mere allegations which can not be substantiated adding that like any other Ugandan, Bobi Wine has a right to being released on bail pending investigations.

The magistrate would later adjourn for one hour from when he granted the applicant bail up to May 23, when he will report back to Court.

The announcement prompted a fully packed court room to break into endless jubilations while singing Bobi Wine’s Tuliyambala Engule song.

Speaking to the press after the session, Muyizzi said they (Bobi Wine’s lawyers) are going to challenge the decision to use video conferencing in the trial and also some of the conditions of the bail granted to their client.

“We take exception from parts of the decision we are not comfortable with. We are happy that the liberty we applied for has been granted but to the extent that an accused persons can be arraigned by video conferencing is outside the law. We are going to challenge that in courts that supervise this court either by revision or by a fully fledged petition before the constitutional court,” Muyizzi said.

“Secondly to the extent that this court has decided that bail will lapse or will be cancelled upon him engaging in an unlawful assembly. We believe this court has exceeded its discretion and jurisdiction. We are going again to invoke the powers of the supervising Courts to clarify and give the parameters which are within the law and we think to that extent, this decision will not remain the same,” he said.

Bobi Wine was arrested on April 29 from Mulago roundabout as he drove to the Police CID headquarters in Kibuli where he had been summoned to record a statement on his alleged involvement in inciting violence and unlawful assembly.

Asked whether, authorities won’t re-arrest Bobi Wine on cases he has to answer with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, Muyizzi said they were privy to information that there was massive deployment at the prison which created suspicion that he was going to be either re-arrested or driven straight to his Magere home. SoftPower News could not verify this.

“We have heard rumours that the deployment in Luzira points to the direction that he may be re-arrested or probably driven straight to his residence in Magere,” he said.

By press time, his lawyers had gone to Luzira maximum prison to avail him the bail documents to append his signature and thereafter, will return them to Buganda Road Court for signature by the Court officials after paying the cash bail of Shs1m.

It is from here that they will drive back to Luzira maximum prison for his release.

Prosecution alleges that on July 11, 2017, the accused and others still at large, held a public meeting (anti-social media demo) without notifying Police contrary to provisions of the Public Order Management Act. They say the accused failed to cooperate and coordinate with the Police to ensure that all participants in the demonstration were unarmed and peaceful.

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