crime scene

Special Forces Command Soldier Sentenced to Death

A soldier of the Special Forces Command and a security guard were on Friday sentenced to death for the murder of a Mobile Money agent over two years ago.

Corporal Benson Opio and Santo Okot, a guard with Group 4 Security, learnt their fate when they appeared before Justice Stephen Mubiru at the Hugh Court in Gulu.

Daily Monitor reports that the deceased, one Komagum, was gunned down at around 8pm on March 19, 2016, at Layibi Trading Centre in Gulu Municipality inside Lokoroma Shop where he was transacting a mobile money business.

The assailants also robbed more than Shs2m cash, dozens of mobile phones, and its accessories and airtime, all valued at Shs40m.

Following the incident, Cpl Opio, Ojok and Okot were arrested and charged with murder and aggravated robbery.

On Friday, after evaluating evidence on court record, Justice Mubiru said: “There is strong evidence to link the four men to the crime,’’ he said.

On the second count of aggravated robbery, both Opio and Okot were each handed life imprisonment term.

Their accomplices, Michael Mohamed Ojok, was handed a 40-year-jail term while Churchill Ojok was handed 35-year-jail term for the role in the violent robbery and killing of the 19-year-old Senior Four student.

The judge said there was no doubt in his mind that there was malice aforethought and violence was used during or after the commissioning of the offence.

He also noted that the conduct of the convict raised a lot of questions since they went into hiding after the killing of Komagum.

State prosecutor Patrick Omia, asked for a maximum sentence of death in each of the two counts arguing that a deadly weapon was used to end the life of an innocent young man who was defenseless.

He said both Opio and Okot abused their powers being well trained and highly skilled security officers who should have protected Komagum.

Ms Sarah Nyakato Okello, the victim’s maternal aunt, asked for a maximum sentence of death saying the convicts have caused her a lot of pain.

Ms Nyakato described Corporal Opio as a violent person who will never reform.
She said she has been having sleepless nights after the gruesome murder of her sister’s son.

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