The UPDF 4th Division Court Martial sitting in Gulu found RA 213734 Lance Corporal Okello guilty of shooting and killing Beatrice Ajok, 52, and two of her sons; Dan Joachim Binyang, 18, and Owen Norman, 20.
A UPDF soldier who shot and killed three civilians in Gulu City
has been sentenced to 51 years in prison.
The UPDF 4th Division Court Martial sitting in Gulu found RA 213734 Lance
Corporal Okello guilty of shooting and killing Beatrice Ajok, 52, and two of
her sons; Dan Joachim Binyang, 18, and Owen Norman, 20.
The incident happened at around 8:00 pm on the night of February
10th, 2020 from Pece-Vanguard parish, a suburb of Gulu City in the East
Division. The murder was linked to a protracted land dispute between the accused
and the deceased’s family.
While reading the judgement, Col. George Nambafu, the Chairperson
of the 4th Division Court Martial revealed that after prosecution produced 14
witnesses, the court found Okello, 33, guilty of the three counts of murder
contrary to Section 188 & 189 of the Penal Code Act.
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At the initial stage of the trial in February, Okello, 33, who is attached to
the 2nd Motorized Infantry Battalion pleaded not guilty to the offence before the
court. Col. Nambafu sentenced Okello to serve the jail term concurrently for
each of the counts at Gulu Central Prison.
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During its deliberations in sentencing the convict, the court based itself on
the factors aggravating death sentences such as the degree of injury or harm
inflicted on the deceased persons, the parts of the victims’ body where the
harm or injury was occasioned.
They also considered the repeated injury caused to the victims’
bodies, the degree of meticulous premeditation and the planning, the nature of
the weapon used by the convict to deliberately cause loss of lives to the three
According to Col. Nambafu, the court was also mindful of the right
of life and its ultimate protection of life which the convict being a member of
the UPDF ought to have protected and preserved but instead, he abused this
cardinal obligation which is accorded to the Defense Forces under the 1995
He further pointed out that that the sentence is to send warning and give
deterrence to the would-be offenders from copying selfish characters and abuse
of authority of unlawfully causing loss of life of innocent citizens.
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.