Lawyer Opiyo Charged in $340,000 Bank Transfer Saga; Remanded

Human rights lawyer Nicholas Opiyo has been charged before Nakawa Chief Magistrate’s Court with ‘money laundering and neglect to submit annual returns to the NGO Bureau’ before being remanded till December 28, 2020, Chimp Corps report.

Prosecution alleges that Opiyo, on October 8th, 2020, at ABSA Bank at Garden City, acquired USD 340,000 through an account number 6004078045 in the names of Chapter Four Uganda, knowing that the funds were proceeds of crime.

Opiyo was earlier this week picked by security services from a restaurant in Kamwokya, Kampala, alongside other lawyers of opposition National Unity Platform (NUP).

Chief Magistrate, Douglas Singiza, this Thursday denied Opiyo bail, saying he had no jurisdiction to hear the matter.

The charge sheet

The lawyer was remanded to police custody on grounds that the prisons were full.

Opiyo, who was reading a book, looked unfazed by the prospect of jail.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga yesterday said “Forensic teams are analysing exhibits that have been recovered so far.”

Opiyo was being held at police’s Special Investigations Division Kireka.

Sources tell ChimpReports that Opiyo is being investigated for using his bank accounts as a conduit for money from foreigner to support opposition groups and civil society entities in Uganda.

It’s further alleged that Opiyo was the mastermind of dossiers seeking United States’ sanctions against the Ugandan government.

Police said Opiyo was being investigated over “malicious acts” which officials say are related to mobilizing the western community to bring an end to President Museveni’s Government.

U.S Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo “called on the Ugandan authorities to ensure an environment where civil society can undertake election training and monitoring.”

Pompeo emphasised: “Recent restrictions on NGO election activities and intimidation of human rights advocates undermine such an environment.”

However, President Museveni recently vowed to do everything in his means to defeat what he described as collaborators of the foreigners seeking to destabilize the country.

Opiyo, a popular Kampala-based lawyer, lived in an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Northern Uganda during the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency.

He would later study law at Makerere University before venturing into human rights activities.

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