Nine students arrested over EACOP protest granted bail

Nine students arrested over EACOP protest granted bail
Nine students arrested over EACOP protest granted bail

Africa-Press – Uganda. Nine students who were arrested during a demonstration in support of the European Union (EU) parliament resolution calling for the delay of the development of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), have been granted bail.

The nine include students from Kyambogo, Gulu and Makerere Universities are; Java Ntabazi, 25, Vicent Lubega, 21, Alphose Nkurunziza, 23, Gerald Wenani, 24, David Musiri, 34, Benjamin Akiso, 22, and Akisi Gonga, 23. Others are Alex Waswa Lyazi, 25, a tourist guide, and Marktom Kajubi, 23. They are battling charges of common nuisance which they have since denied.

They appeared Monday before Buganda Road Court grade one magistrate Fedelis Itwau, who granted them a cash bail of Shs100,000 each while their sureties were bonded at Shs5 million non-cash.

Some of the grounds that they raised through their lawyer Eron Kiiza for consideration for their release pending their trial include; it is their constitutional right to apply for bail, being charged with a bailable offence, being ready to abide by the release terms and having substantial sureties.

Mr Kiiza also asked the court that if they are to be granted a cash bail, the court should consider fewer amounts since they are just students who do not have money.

The prosecution alleges that the group on October 4, at Kingdom Kampala obstructed and inconvenienced the public in the exercise of their common rights of being rowdy by blocking walkways thereby concluding to be a common nuisance.

Armed with placards inscribed with “STOP EACOP” protest messages, the students Tuesday last week stormed the EU offices in Kampala with a petition to the EU envoy in Uganda but they were intercepted by police near the gate.

The arrest of these students came just a week after a group of students under their umbrella body, the Uganda National Students Association (UNSA) guarded by police, marched around Kampala streets protesting the September 16 EU resolution.

They will return to court on October 25 for further mention of their case.

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