Nicholas Opiyo was arrested together with three other human rights lawyers including Herbert Dakasi, Anthony Odur and Esomu Obure.
Nicholas Opiyo, a human rights lawyer was on Tuesday afternoon arrested abruptly from Lamaro restaurant located in Kamwokya. He was arrested together with three other human rights lawyers including Herbert Dakasi, Anthony Odur and Esomu Obure.
The news made rounds on different social media platforms with many attributing his arrest to political issues. However, in a statement released Tuesday, the police have confirmed that the city lawyer was arrested on charges of obtaining money illegally.
The statement further noted that investigations are still ongoing to determine whether the charges are true and any new developments will be communicated in due course.
“We would like to confirm the arrest of Lawyer Nicholas Opiyo, by a Joint Task team of Security and Financial Intelligence, on allegations of money laundering and related malicious acts,” part of the Police’s statement read.
“The investigations are progressing well and any new developments will be communicated in due course. He remains in our custody at the Special Investigations Division,” added.
In reference to a statement released by Chapter Four Uganda, an organization involved in defending human rights who condemned the arrest said that they are still establishing clear facts as to why arrest their boss was arrested.
“Chapter Four is concerned about the safety and well-being of Mr.Opiyo considering that he is being held outside the protection of the law. We are in the process of gathering facts and reviewing the situation and will be taking measures to ensure his immediate release,” their statement read.
Nicholas Opiyo heads Chapter Four Uganda, which represents two Non-Government Organizations-NGOs including the Uganda National NGO Forum and the Uganda Women’s Network whose accounts were frozen by security for alleged terror financing.
As an established lawyer, Opiyo has built his name over the years as a human rights defender and often he has been at loggerheads with the government over several human rights cases of abuse.
His interviews on international media outlets have often drawn a backlash with the government, accusing him of working for foreign interests.
Sources indicated that by the time of his arrest, they were planning to look into the November free Bobi Wine protests that resulted into the death of over 50 people.