Buganda Chief Magistrate’s Court has Wednesday morning released Yekoyada Nuwagaba, a Senior Presidential Advisor on Political Matters who was remanded last week on charges unlawful possession of wildlife protected species.
Before releasing him, the Chief Magistrate, His Worship James Mwanda Eremye ruled that he had sufficiently been convinced by all facts presented to him in the bail application filed by Nuwagaba’s lawyer, Simon Peter Musanga.
Last Friday, court had asked the accused to present a surety from his work place since one of the two sureties he had presented was disqualified.
Today, he produced more two sureties including his brother Gashom Ahimbisbwe, a Supplies Officer with UNRA, and Charles Balinda a Special Presidential Assistant in charge of Operations who works with Nuwagaba.
The two sureties presented copies of their National Identity cards, Work Identity cards and Local Council recommendation letters and were ordered to sign a Shs 20 million non-cash bond each before the applicant Nuwagaba could be released.
Earlier on Winnie Namayenje, a prosecutor from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) had asked court to place stringent bail conditions on the accused but Nuwagaba’s lawyer objected to this arguing that bail should not be a punishment.
The magistrate concurred with the defense counsel and ordered the applicant to sign a bond to propel him him to regularly attend court.
The case has been adjourned to January 9 next year, when the state will present an amended chargesheet with only Nuwagaba, excluding three other persons who are currently on the run.
It is alleged that in February 2017, Nuwagaba together with three others still at large were found to be in possesion of protected wild life species, in contravention with the Wildlife Act.
These included 109 kilograms of hippo teeth valued at USD 30,500, 78.5 kilograms of hippo teeth valued at USD 27,500, tortoise scales and one live tortoise valued at USD 1,746.