Oyam: The wee-hour murder of Obote’s ex-soldier, Okello Remijo

(Last Updated On: 2 April 2024)

The petitioners also told the DIGP that D/ASP Okoboi Amos took away the body of the deceased immediately after killing him and that to date the family does not know the whereabouts of his body.

Oyam—4, June 2021: The murder of Okello Remijo—the ex-soldier during late President Apollo Milton Obote’s government has raised questions with “contradicting answers now out”.

Okello, a born of Iceme sub-county in Oyam North, Oyam district, was allegedly killed by security personnel who are manning Lango sub-region.

His killing by the men in uniform may no longer be an allegation after the former State Minister for Defense and Veteran Affairs, Hon. Okello Engola Macodwogo confirmed it. The minister is also the Oyam North Member of Parliament.

Speaking to a radio [local] journalist based in Lira City in recent weeks, the minister said Remijo’s execution was in self-defence. He claimed the deceased was armed; was in possession of an illegal gun and that on a fateful day, he threw a teargas canister to harm the security personnel.

In the same interview, the Oyam North MP said the deceased had “made life too hard for the people of Iceme” and that he (Remijo) “used his gun to terrorize the locals”.

After they shot him dead, “the deceased’s body was put in a police pickup to Lira City.” According to investigations, they buried him in the cemetery along Lira—Kitgum road.

Gillian Akullu – the Oyam RDC, in an audio this publication has got, said the Iceme wrangle never started yesterday or today, stating that it started “long ago”.

“We arrested him, and recovered a gun from him sometime back but he vehemently denied keeping another gun. If he had handed over all guns to us, he would not have been killed,” she added.

His relatives and the Court wanted his body retrieved and offered a decent burial.

Relatives’ appeal to the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP)

A lead petitioner who has requested not to be named for fears that he may also be killed, said on 24, April 2021, soldiers from Lira Garrison under the command of Lt. Col. Ayebare Nelson and police officers from Oyam Central Police Station (CPS) commanded by D/ASP Okoboi Amos, waylaid the home of Okello Remijo at midnight and shot him in the morning hours around 6:00 am.

“He had overpowered the Police in Oyam and [we] needed soldiers from Lira who came…” Oyam North MP, Macodwogo told a radio journalist.

The petitioner also told the DIGP that D/ASP Okoboi Amos took away the body of the deceased immediately after killing him and that to date the family does not know the whereabouts of his body.

“After some hours of killing, the said Okoboi Amos, using police pickup with police officers on board went to the home of the deceased where the relatives were mourning for the death, ordered them to lie down and put them at gunpoint and arrested them.”

The background of the matter stems from a land conflict which has been pending between the late family of one Oruk Morrish. It was waiting for judgment by the Magistrate Grade One Court—Anyeke.

In 2016, the same family used police officers from Oyam CPS to arrest the late Okello Remijo on allegations of illegal possession of firearms. He was charged and remanded. During the trial, it was found that the State did not have evidence to support the charges.

On 18, April 2016, the Magistrate Grade One Anyeke dismissed the case for “want of prosecution”. Oburu Morris Ezra presided over the case.

“They had to use the services of the soldiers and the police to kill him,” lead petitioner’s letter to DIGP reads.

According to the deceased relative, the said D/ASP, Regional CID has been working “hand in hand” with the wrangling family to destroy the family of late Remijo with all means to imprison them by levying charges of aggravated robbery.

“Oruk Morrish and others who have been wrangling for the land with the late is one of the prosecution witnesses lined up which shows a conflict of interest of the D/ASP in the malicious charge and prosecution,” the top Police chief said.

The same Okoboi, according to the deceased’s relatives have preferred to trump up charges against all the relatives of the deceased who are (27) in number including his son who works in Kampala and who was in Kampala during the killing and eventual arrest of the family members.

In his absence, according to a petition to the DIGP, the deceased’s son was charged with “aggravated robbery”.


Purpose of the petition

The relatives of the slain ex-soldier have asked the DIGP to:

1. To investigate the conduct of Okoboi Amos D/ASP, No. 64737 Tumusabe Francis, No.60765 Angwech Immaculate, ASP Musasizi Saul—OC Iceme Police Station, Sgt. Okello Moses, ASP Yiga Gonzaga—Regional CID individual roles in the murder, taking away the body of the late and refusal to return, arrest and charging of family members.

2. To save the image of the government/police before it is too late by relieving them of their duties to pave the way for investigations since they have continued to pursue the remaining relatives of the deceased.

Court decision

On 27, May 2021 in the Miscellaneous Cause No. 136 of 2021 in the High Court Holden at Kampala in which Apio Simple, Ongwec Jacinto, Ogwang Peter, Arach Joseph, Florence Akello, New Innocent, Lilly Apio, Silvia Oyuku and Ajok Day (Respondents) sued the Attorney General of Uganda, the Chief of Defense Forces (CDF) and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) in the Matter of Section 34 of the Adjudicator Act—CAP 13 (as amended) and in the Matter of an Application for Writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Subjection, Boniface Wamala (Judge)—in a “Release Order” decreed:

“This Matter coming this 27th day of May 2021 for final disposal before His Lordship Justice Boniface Wamala; in the presence of Mr Bafirawala Elisha Counsel for the Applicants and in the presence of Mr Mark Muwonge State Attorney for the Respondents it is hereby ordered that:

  1. The Applicants be and are hereby released by the Respondents forthwith.
  2. The body of Remijo Okello, who is alleged to have been killed, is released to his relatives for a decent burial.
  3. The costs of the application are awarded to the applicants.

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