Police in Kampala have arrested a 17-year-old Senior Two student for allegedly announcing the Inspector General of Police, John Martins Okoth Ochola dead on social media platform Facebook.
According to the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) spokesperson, Charles Twiine, on September, 22, 2021, a post on Facebook by an account under the name Brison Olywl Oz declared that Ochola had “finally died” and that he should “rest in peace” prompting investigations into the incident.
“Our investigators from the cyber unit working together with UCC followed up the case and found that the Facebook account had been opened using a phone number, 0752813959 belonging to Fatumah Nakazibwe who was tracked and arrested,” Twiine said.
The CID spokesperson explained that on interrogation, Nakazibwe denied having a Facebook account but said she would always give her phone to her son, one Mubarak Mubiru who was also arrested.
Following the arrest, Mubiru admitted to owning the Facebook account but claimed he used the phone with three other colleagues and could have been behind the post announcing the police chief dead.
Police arrested the other three colleagues to Mubiru as investigations into the incident continued.
According to Twiine, the 17-year-old senior two student later confessed to have been behind the post announcing Ochola dead.
“After investigations were completed, the Inspector General of Police as the complainant was informed and on realizing the person behind the offence was a 17 year old student, he advised that he should be forgiven since he is still a minor and the IGP has a parental heart,” Twiine said.
The CID spokesperson however noted that the file was forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions to ensure the charges of offensive communication slapped against the senior two student are formally dropped in accordance with the law.
He noted that they are waiting for a communication from DPP on dropping of the charges but warned parents to always be careful with their children and what they do.
A few weeks ago, information made rounds on social media claiming the Inspector General of Police, John Martins Okoth Ochola was critically ill and that he had been admitted to the intensive care unit.
The police however trashed the reports as being untrue.
“Please disregard rumours circulating on social media claiming that the IGP, is hospitalised and on oxygen. We do reiterate that the IGP is not hospitalised as claimed in certain media circles. He is in good condition, with a back to normal pressure level and has been working throughout the month of September,” a statement by Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga released on September 22, said.
To further dismiss the reports, Ochola made a public appearance at the annual general meeting for the Police Directorate of Health Service held at Police headquarters in Naguru.
A number of people have in the past been arrested and charged in courts of law for declaring public officials including the president dead.