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Land Probe: Lawyer Arrested for Offensive Conduct

Gastone Kamugisha (R) being led out of the premises by police officers on Friday

The commission of inquiry that is investigating matters relating to land fraud has Friday ordered the arrest of Gastone Kamugisha, a lawyer by profession for conducting himself in an offensive and disrespectful manner.

Kamugisha has been offering counsel to one of the witnesses to the inquiry a one Hajji Swaibu Yigga who is accused of fraudulently grabbing over 1,000 acres of land in Kapeeka sub-county, Nakaseke district.

During a morning recess while the commission of inquiry in the course of Friday’s public hearings, Kamugisha stood and began to address members of the public and the press who were seated in the public hearing hall.

A statement released by the Lead Counsel to the commission, Ebert Byenkya Friday afternoon read; “Kamugisha is said to have made loud comments in a manner that was offensive and appeared to be calculated to undermine the authority and conduct of the commission.”

“Pursuant of the powers vested in the commission under Section 1 (3) of the commissions Inquiry Act Cap. 166, Kamugisha was excluded from the commission hearing hall for purposes of order and for preserving and protection of the due conduct of the inquiry,” the statement further read.

The Commission of Inquiry Act gives it [the commission of inquiry] discretionary powers to exclude ant person whom it thinks is not conducting him/herself in a manner consistent with public order, conduct of the inquiry or any other reasons.

Kamugisha was escorted outside the public hearing hall and later the premises of the Archives and Information Centre in Wandegeya where the commission sits.

ChimpReports has learnt that the lawyer was then taken to Wandegeya Police Station where he was detained.

“Kamugisha’s conduct shall be further investigated to establish whether he has committed any offence under the commission of inquiry Act for purposed of forwarding the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions. He shall be released on bond whole due process continues,” the statement added.

The commission maintains that Kamugisha will continue to be excluded from the proceedings and the premises of the commission for the duration of its tenure due to Friday’s conduct.

Byenkya told journalists that: “There’s a civil way in which a lawyer can represent their clients but this wasn’t followed. That’s not how a lawyer on watching brief must conduct him/herself.”

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