Crime

Justice Served: Court Orders Compensation for Unlawful Detention by Police Officer

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  • He further ordered her to pay a 10 per cent interest on the compensation per annum and cover the costs incurred by the process servers in defending themselves, after finding her liable for the violation of their human rights.
  • The court decision stems from an incident on December 14, 2023, when Kaluusi and Mwesigwa, while attempting to serve court documents to a defendant, were assaulted, prompting them to report the incident to Namutumba police station, where Nankunda allegedly ordered their unlawful detention.

The Namutumba Central Police Station Criminal Investigations Department (CID) officer, Stella Nankunda, has been ordered by the Iganga Chief Magistrate’s court to compensate two court process servers, Michael Kaluusi and Richard Mwesigwa, with Shs 40 million for their unlawful arrest and subsequent detention. This compensation follows a successful petition filed in March 2024 by the process servers through their lawyer, Steven Kalali. Nankunda must also issue a public apology to the court officials within 30 days, effective May 15, 2024, when the judgment was rendered.

Additionally, Chief Magistrate Daniel Kiboko Epobu issued a permanent injunction restraining Nankunda from violating Kaluusi and Mwesigwa’s right to liberty and the right to practice their profession. He further ordered her to pay a 10 per cent interest on the compensation per annum and cover the costs incurred by the process servers in defending themselves, after finding her liable for the violation of their human rights.

The court decision stems from an incident on December 14, 2023, when Kaluusi and Mwesigwa, while attempting to serve court documents to a defendant, were assaulted, prompting them to report the incident to Namutumba police station, where Nankunda allegedly ordered their unlawful detention. Despite being victims of a crime, Nankunda allegedly deprived them of their liberty without justification, keeping them confined for several hours.

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Kiboko condemned Nankunda’s actions, stating that she disregarded the process servers’ identification and detained them without verifying their identity through appropriate means. He emphasized that her actions violated their right to practice their profession and their right to liberty, and noted her gross impunity towards the applicants.

Although Kalali sought Nankunda’s dismissal from the police force for unprofessional conduct, the court deemed the compensation sufficient punishment for her to reform. This decision aligns with the Human Rights Enforcement Act of 2019, signed into law by President Yoweri Museveni, which holds security officers personally liable for actions that infringe citizens’ constitutional rights.

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