Aruu country member of parliament, Odonga Otto is currently under police custody following his arrest on Tuesday. This news website has uncovered a litany of criminal accusations against him that led to his arrest that was preceded by shocking and dramatic scenes.
The controversial MP was on Tuesday arrested from Gulu in Northern Uganda before being driven to Kampala where he is detained at one of the police facilities.
He is being held on charges of illegal possession of firearm, causing grievious harm, offensive communication, assault and malicious damage.
According to ASP Charles Twiine, the CID police spokesperson, the offences were committed between 2018 and 2021 but the legislator has always refused to cooperate with police.
It is alleged that Otto assaulted a one Mugisha Henry, a lorry driver in May 2018 in Pader district before deflating tires of his vehicle by shooting. It is also alleged that the lawmaker lost his cool when Mugisha unnecessarily parked on the road in front of his car, despite the driver explaining that there was an obstacle ahead of him.
He would instead use his firearm to threaten shooting both Mugisha and his turn-man. When the latter ran away, a furious Otto resorted to assaulting the driver and shooting tyres of the lorry.
Twiine says the case was reported and investigated and the lawmaker was invited to record a statement but he instead disregarded the summons including those made on phone by the Pader District Police Commander.
“The file was processed without his statement and it was duly sanctioned for offences of malicious damage and assault to the prejudice of Mugisha Henry,” says Twine.
The case file is Pader CRD 179.
Otto is also accused of assaulting a journalist in Gulu in 2019 after picking up misunderstandings.
“Hon Odonda Otto on June 16, 2019 at Pece stadium in Gulu Municipality picked up a quarrel with a Journalist Ojok Geoffrey working with Choice FM. The MP allegedly threatened to shoot him before eventually pouncing on him terribly,” explains Twiine.
The journalist sustained body injuries and tbe police surgeon confirmed that he was subjected to grievious harm.
Otto was summoned for a statement but he still didn’t turn up, according to police. The file was also sent to the DPP without the MP’s statement.
The opposition legislator is also accused of possessing an illegal firearm – the one he has been using to allegedly threaten the victims.
Twiine says, Otto acquired the weapon through due process when he bought it from Tight Security Limited, a private security organisation in 2015 but failed to renew its license. By law, licences of such firearms are renewed annually but according to police, the license of Otto’s firearm was last renewed in 2018.
“He did not take it to the nearby police station for renewal. So, he was in possession of an illegal firearm for the whole of 2019 and 2020,” reveals the CID spokesperson.
Otto is as well accused of doing an act likely to spread an infectious disease when he was allegedly found at Kan okok village in Pader District on January 6 this year campaigning between 8-9pm. His campaign meeting was stopped and asked to drive along with police to Pader police station.
It was at the moment that police established that even his driving license had expired two years back.
“The driving license he gave showed that it had expired on January 17, 2019. His insurance had also expired in November, 2020,” reveals Twiine, wondering why a senior parliamentarian would be on the road for two years without a valid driving license. He further notes that they as well have several complaints from traffic police officers that while on the road, Otto does not stop every time he is asked to do so.
Meanwhile, as he drove to Pader police station along with the police, the motormouthed MP reportedly stopped suddenly, opened the car door ran to the bush at a very horrific speed. The officers on the ground and the onlookers equate what they witnessed to a potential athlete in the names of Odonga Otto. His vehicle was then towed to the station, according to Twiine.
He would on the following day come to the police station where he reportedly told officers that he ran because he wasn’t ready to be detained. He recorded a statement before being granted a police pond.
It was at this time that information of assaulting the journalist in Gulu was received at Pader police station. On hearing the information, Otto who was about to sign on his bond, dramatically collapsed – creating an impression that he would die in the next few minutes.
However, after getting guidance from police headquarters in Kampala, Pader police opted to go ahead and release him on bond and on hearing this, the ‘dying’ legislator stood up and signed the bond papers.
Claims that Police Poisoned Him
It should be remembered that Otto was on January 25 flown to Nairobi, Kenya for treatment after allegedly claiming that Pader police had poisoned him on the day he went to pick his vehicle.
He alleged that he was poisoned with the aid of a mineral water bottle which was handed to him at Pader Police station, an allegation that the force denied because he did not say who offered him the water.
Twiine says on hearing of the allegation that Police in Pader had poisoned the legislator, a case of attempted murder to the prejudice of OC Pader police station and the Pader DPC was opened and they all recorded statements but the alleged bottle where he claims to have taken water from was not seen. Otto instead reportedly refused to cooperate with police even after returning from a Nairobi Hospital, Twiine says.
“When he failed to cooperate with police or other investigating authorities, we realized that his claims are not legitimate but rather blackmail meant to ridicule the image of police. We actually realized that this was an attempt to divert us from arresting him and arraigning him before court for the offences he allegedly committed earlier,” adds Twiine.
SoftPower News understands that police is working hard to process the crimes the MP allegedly committed and have him arraigned before Court.
We could not get a comment from MP Odonga Otto as his known phones were off by press time.