IGP Ochola Grills Gulu Police Over Rising Crime
The Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola has grilled top police officers in Gulu District over rising cases of crime, Acholi Times has learnt.
This follows the recent stabbing of Christine Anyeko 45, a daughter to the retired Northern Uganda Diocese Bishop Rt Rev Nelson Onono Onweng by unknown thugs. Anyeko later succumbed to injuries suffered. The deceased was stabbed five times by knife wielding thugs on December 28 while going to pray at Christ Church in Gulu Municipality. She died a day later after receiving medical treatment from St Philips Health Center IV where she had been briefly admitted before discharge.
According to police sources, in a phone call on Friday, Mr Ochola grilled both the Gulu District Police Commander Mr Emmanuel Mufundo and the Aswa River Region Police Commander Mr Ezekiel Emitu over the rising crime in Gulu. Mr Ochola reportedly warned the duo and tasked them to end the acts of criminality in Gulu which he said was tarnishing the reputation of the police.
“The IGP in particularly was not pleased with the way the police is handling the investigation of the murder of Bishop Onono Onweng’s daughter. He[Ochola] asked them [ Mufundo&Emitu] to speed up investigation, find the culprits and their motives,’’ a police source told Acholi Times.
The IGP was reportedly infuriated by reports issued by police in Gulu indicating that no suspect has been arrested in relation to Ms Anyeko’s murder.
Bishop Onono Onweng first reported a case of assault on his daughter on December 28. The case was registered under CRB 12/28/2018 at Gulu Central Police Station. When Ms Anyeko succumbed to injuries suffered as a result of the assault, the case was upgraded to murder.
The Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson Jimmy Patrick Okema confirmed to Acholi Times in an interview over the weekend that the IGP has indeed spoken by phone to the two senior police officers in Gulu but said he was unaware of what the IGP discussed with the Gulu- based officers.
Mr Okema said on Friday last week, police had found blood stains in a bath room near the scene where the deceased had been stabbed from adding that samples of the blood was taken by police for examination.
“We retrieved blood samples from a bathroom in Layibi Division which is believed to be of the deceased,’’ said Okema. He however revealed that police doctors are stuck with the samples because the late Anyeko’s family did not give police to carry out a postmortem which could have been used to confirm whether the samples of blood obtained match with the late Anyeko’s.
Okema said efforts to counter crime in the district is being hampered by coordination gaps between local leaders and the police. He said police is currently working hand in hand with the Uganda People’s Defence Forces[UPDF] soldiers to patrol the Municipality.
Last week police reported that a total of 50 suspected thugs were arrested in operations conducted between the December 31 and January 1 in Gulu municipality resulting in the discovery of knives and opium. 15 of the suspects were arraigned before court on December 27 and remanded to Gulu Central Prison.
At least twelve cases of assault and robbery were reported to police between December 30 and January 2. Some of the hotspots were the thugs operated in Gulu Municipality are: Laroo division near National Water and Sewerage Corporation Lagoon; areas adjacent to Gulu Public Primary School; areas near Gulu Prison Barracks and Go Down village in Techo Parish, Layibi division.