By Benson Tumusiime
Buganda Road court on Monday remanded human rights lawyer Mr Nicholas Opiyo to Kitalya prison till January 11, 2021.Opiyo was arrested last week on Tuesday and detained at Special Investigations Unit (SIU) Kireka. He was charged with money laundering.Mr Opiyo on Monday appeared before Buganda Road Chief Magistrates court through video conferencing where the case was read to him.The Chief Magistrate, Mr Moses Mabende however denied him bail arguing that he has no jurisdiction to hear his case.The magistrate said the charges against Opiyo who is the executive director of Chapter Four Uganda, can only be heard by the High Court.He sent him back to Kitalya prison till January 11, 2021 to come for mentioning of the case. Advertisement
“The accused can apply for bail in the High Court on Wednesday because the case is before Justice Jane Kajuba at the anti-corruption high court,” the Magistrate said.The other four suspects, who included lawyers Herbert Dakasi, Esomu Obure, Anthony Odur and Human Rights officer, Hamid Tenywa were given police bond last Thursday.Prosecution alleges that Mr. Opiyo on October 8, 2020 at ABSA Bank Garden City Branch, in Kampala District acquired $340,000 (about Shs1.2 billion) through ABSA Bank account No.6004078045 in the names of Chapter Four Uganda, knowing at the time of receipt that the said funds were proceeds of crime.Opiyo is the lawyer representing two NGOs including the Uganda National NGO Forum and the Uganda Women’s Network whose accounts were recently frozen by the Financial Intelligence Authority over alleged involvement in moving money to finance terrorism activities.