Investigating officers have made damning findings of possible treacherous complicity by prisons officers that made the mass escape from Moroto Prison possible.
Based on the findings, the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) has recommended for the prosecution of five Moroto prisons officers over their alleged roles in the September 16 escape of 223 prisoners from the government prison.
The CID recommendation is contained in a report about the investigations that commenced on September 29 purposely to uncover circumstances that led to the escape of prisoners from Moroto government prison, in Karamoja sub-region.
The head of general crimes desk at CID, ACP Francis Olugu, led the team that has since established that the prisoners’ escape was not an abrupt incident but a well calculated move that involved prison officers attached to the same incarceration facility.
Investigators in their report say the escape process started a fortnight earlier when the Officer In charge –OC Superintendent Norman Aruho, appointed a new prisoner, a hardcore murder suspect Loguti Mariko, as head of prisoners.
“The escape was commanded by Loguti Mariko who was on a remand committal on murder charges. But SP Aruho Norman erroneously appointed, Loguti Mariko, as overall prisoner [RP] which was against the standing procedure of Prisons Service where such a person must have been with a good discipline record and must have been observed for some time,” CID indicates in its report.
Prior to the afternoon prison escape, CID indicates that Principal Officer II, Fred Mugisha, head of reception at Moroto Prison, received Shs 130,000 on his mobile phone from a source that indicated it was for Lotipus Challakweng, one of the inmates that escaped.
CID investigators add that Prisons Commanders Principal Officer, Geoffrey Owori and his deputy Joseph Anguadia, told the staff to fire a few bullets in the air and later ordered them to lock themselves inside their offices instead of pursuing the escapees.
“Fire in the air and run away was the order given to staff who attempted to stop the escapees. If it was not an act of cowardice from Owori Geoffrey and Anguadia Joseph, it was perhaps deliberately done to let the prisoners escape,” CID report further reads.
Corporal Warder Atunu, who was the armoury man, also known as In charge station order, allegedly removed the guns from strong room because the padlocks had become faulty. CID adds that two iron bars of the main gate had been suspiciously removed and not replaced for more than a month. The small and main gates were open on the fateful day.
Out of 223 escapees, 107 have already been re-arrested by police, army and prisons personnel. The prisoners according to CID investigations escaped with 14 guns, 16 magazines and 480 live bullets.
After ACP Olugu and his team briefing CID Director, AIGP Grace Akullo, it was resolved that SP Aruho, Mugisha, Owori, Anguadia and Atunu be prosecuted either at disciplinary level or criminal court for their roles in the jailbreak.
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