Court Defers Ruling on Former RDC’s Bail Application

Kitgum Magistrates Court on Tuesday deferred its ruling for the bail application by Bob William Labeja, the former RDC of Moyo, Nebbi, and Nakapiripirit, who is on remand over the death of his wife. 

Labeja was arrested on February 14th, 2023, and remanded to Kitgum Prison following the death of his wife Jackie Abalo.   

Appearing before Chief Magistrate, Robert Ekirita on Tuesday, Labeja, through his lawyers Tonny Kitara, Eddy Oola, and Komakech Geoffrey asked the court to grant him bail because he is suffering from diabetes and requires proper medication. 

However, the mother of the deceased, Robinah Akullu, asked the court not to grant the suspect bail, because it would jeopardize investigations. 

An unidentified man who said that he was the father of the deceased argued that granting bail to Labeja would; cause tension during burial since the daughter has not yet been buried and deteriorate the bitterness between the clan members of the suspect and that of the bereaved family. 

“Now as I speak, the lady who was present while my daughter was being assaulted has disappeared from Kitgum and her phone number is unavailable,” he said, adding; “I believe if the suspect is granted bail, more witnesses will disappear.” 

However, Tonny Kitara, one of Labeja’s lawyers rubbished the man’s claim saying he is not the biological father of the deceased, but an uncle. Kitara added that the claim that one of the witnesses has disappeared from Kitgum is not credible because there is no police report. 

He added that the argument that granting bail would sour the relationship between the two families is also not true, because the Acholi have means of reconciling families that find themselves in such situations. 

According to Kitara, the bride price of 5 million Shillings was paid, and, another 4 million Shillings for other items, in addition to 11 cattle and nine goats. 

“The fact that the bereaved family accepted the bride price indicates that they acknowledged that a relationship already exists between the two families,” Kitara said.  

Ekirita said the ruling on the bail application was not yet ready, adding that it could also not be read because the Resident State Attorney was absent in court. He set March 7 as the date for the hearing of the ruling for the application. 

Labeja is accused of assaulting Abalo on February 12 from their marital home in Kitgum district, following a domestic disagreement.

It is alleged that Abalo fled to her mother who stays in Pader District for safety while complaining of severe body pain and was rushed to Bregma Medical Center in Kitgum from where she died on February 13.    

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