Police Tags Human Rights Lawyer’s Arrest to Money Laundering

Human rights lawyer, Nicholas Opiyo was arrested over charges related to money laundering and “related malicious acts,” the police said in a statement.

According to the police statement, Opiyo was arrested by a joint team of security and financial intelligence personnel that picked him from Lamaro restaurant in Kamwokya, a suburb of Kampala.

He was arrested together with lawyers Herbert Dakasi, Anthony Odur and Esomu Obure as well as Hamid Tenywa who is attached to the opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) political party.

“The investigations are progressing well and any new developments will be communicated in due course. He [Opiyo] remains in our custody at the Special Investigations Division [Kireka],” the police statement partly reads.

The statement is however silent about the fate of the other four lawyers.

Away from the police explanation, Opiyo’s arrest could be have been influenced by a legal challenge he has put up against the government’s freezing of bank accounts belonging to two Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) accused of supporting terrorism in Uganda.

The Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) last week froze several bank accounts belonging to the Uganda NGO Forum and Uganda Women Network  (UWONET) for allegedly financing terrorist activities.

The government has not explained which terrorist activities or terror groups that the NGOs were financing.

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