Pharmacist Accused of Theft Asks Court to Lift Travel Restriction

Robert Akena, a suspect accused of stealing medical supplies worth 1.5 Billion Shillings from Kitgum General Hospital has pleaded to court to give him the freedom to move outside Kitgum Municipality.  

On December 16th 2022, Kitgum Grade I Magistrate, Ponsiano Odwori, granted Akena bail and restricted his movement within Kitgum Municipality, unless the court decides otherwise.  

However, while appearing for the mention of his case on Wednesday morning, Akena requested court to lift the travel restriction, saying he is a student at Gulu University, and needed to do special examinations, saying he had missed the regular examinations, since he was on remand.

Akena added that there “some things” he is coordinating in places outside the district, and needed to travel to those places, and make money to support his family.  

Grade I magistrate, Ponsiano Odwori asked Akena to produce evidence that he is a student at Gulu University.  

Akena said he has a University Identity Card, but had not moved with it to court.  

Odwori then asked Akena to produce the student’s identity card when he returns to court on February 22nd, 2023.  

Akena is in court on claims that he stole medical supplies worth 1.5 billion shillings from Kitgum general Hospital.  

In October officials from National Drug Authority-NDA stormed a drug shop in Kitgum and a store in Unyama trading center in Gulu City, all belonging to Akena, and confiscated stolen government medical supplies. 

Some of the medical supplies recovered during the operation included an Oxygen concentrator and its accessories, kidney cups, a portable autoclave, a digital baby scale, an instrument trolley donated by USAID, drip stands, a bone operation set, six surgical trays, and two digital thermometers, among others.

Akena however fled and stayed in hiding for over a month before he handed himself to the police on December 6th. He was remanded to Kitgum Central prison before getting bail on December 16th, 2022.

Illegal possession of government stores is contrary to section 316 of the Penal Code Act. 

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