Lira District Police Commander Bernard Mugerwa dismisses the allegations as baseless, only that “…there was some confusion resulting from acts of hooliganism by the groups of people who had converged at the tally centre, we had to apply reasonable force to calm the situation, not necessarily extortion and torture as such ’’ he said.
Bizarre allegations have emerged in Lira as residents of Wigweng village in Lira City West accuse the police of using excessive force including tears gas brutally rob and extorting from the public during the current political season
According to residents, some police officers attached to Lira Central police station torture suspects, extort money from them and now habitually use teargas and live bullets to steal their property.
Residents have cited the Friday operation led by Geoffrey Katabazi, the officer in charge Teolam outpost where police officers stormed the Village and allegedly assaulted them from their respective homes.
The concerns were raised during a security meeting held on Sunday at Wigweng Village Barogole parish in Lira City West.
Residents claim that police used tear gas to disperse supporters of George Mawa, who had gathered outside NRM office at Wigweng village before proceeding to rob them, after Willy Omodo Omodo was declared NRM Flag bearer for Lira City mayor.
Ross Okello Muhammad, one of the victims assaulted says police found her at her home eating supper and eventually started beating her with clear reasons.
She says as a result, she now has multiple injuries on her body besides losing her cell phone to the attackers.
Francis Ogwang, another person who was also beaten badly says he is considering reporting his case against Lira DPC and the security team for assaulting him at North Kyoga regional police office so that legal action is taken against him.
Patrick Ojok, the Area LCI chairperson of Wigweng village however says the brutal treatment of his innocent people is becoming habitual especially when NRM party has functions at the party office at Wigweng village.
According to Ojok, His committee is writing to NRM Secretariat soon to transfer their NRM-Lira office to another place to avoid burden on his people.
Bosco Ongom Goi, the area councilor of Barogole parish to Ojwina Division council, says they want Lira RDC, Milton Odongo, who doubles as head of security to go to the ground and apologize to the affected residents.
However, Lira District Police Commander Bernard Mugerwa dismisses the allegations as baseless, only that “…there was some confusion resulting from acts of hooliganism by the groups of people who had converged at the tally centre, we had to apply reasonable force to calm the situation, not necessarily extortion and torture as such ’’ he said.
He adds that no one has reported about police assaulting civilians in the village, adding that security will investigate the matter.
Geoffrey Katabazi, the officer in charge Teolam outpost in interview with our reporter denied the allegations that he has never commanded the operation in the area.