DRANI

Court grants Madi Paramount Chief Drani Stephen bail after 2 weeks on remand

Adjumani, May 5, 2023: The Chief Magistrate of Moyo magisterial area Ronald Kayizi has granted the Paramount Chief of Madi, His Royal Highness Stephen Drani bail after two weeks when he was remanded to Adjumani government prison.

Chief Drani Stephen was remanded to Openzinzi prison on April 19, 2023, by the Magistrate Grade One of Adjumani, Jude Kamaganga after the court charged him with seven counts of attempted murder and three counts of assault.

On Friday, May 5, Kayizi granted Chief Drani bail of shs 1m and the two sureties were ordered to pay shs10m each. The accused person was also instructed to tender his passport and land title of the land in Lopire village in Pakele sub-county, Adjumani district.

Magistrate Kamaganga could not however entertain bail application at that time because his Court lacked the jurisdiction to try the case.

“I have considered the submission of both the counsel of the accused and the learned State Attorney and this Court has the discretion to give the accused person bail with or without sureties, it is not in dispute that the accused person is the Paramount Chief of the Madi, the State has not sworn any affidavit to prove that the accused person will interfere with the investigations,” Kayizi said.

The Chief Magistrate further told Courtroom, “The State has told the Court that the investigations are still incomplete, he has not given the Court timeline when the investigation shall be completed, it will be unfair for this Court to keep the accused person on remand when Court and State do not know when the investigation will be completed so that the hearing can commence.”

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The prosecution had objected to bail for Chief Drani on account that he is a Paramount Chief and committed the offence against his subjects and will most likely interfere with witnesses and police investigations, averring that all the counts are serious offences.

The prosecution further submitted that some of the sureties produced by Chief Drani are not substantial, wondering how a peasant could compel a Paramount Chief to attend Court.

The prosecution prayed that, if the Court is to give the accused bail, the accused be given stringent conditions like cash bail, depositing passport, and land title.

Counsel for the accused Walea Sophie of Law Development Centre Legal Aid Services presented four sureties.

Walea Sophie cited article 28(a) which she says states that an accused person in Court is innocent until proven guilty or pleads guilty and that keeping Chief Drani in Court is in breach of the law.

The case was adjourned till May 19, 2023, when Chief Drani will appear for mention of the case.

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