Police professional standards unit in West Nile are investigating a case of alleged torture of a man mistaken for a suspect by a policeman, Joseph Okongo.
The policeman, who is also a cells-guard, is attached to Pakwach police station.
According to Vuata Evans the in charge PSU West Nile, Okongo on November 10 beat up and caused harm to the spinal cord of Oryema Patrick a resident of Paroketo village in Pakwach Sub County after mistaking him for a suspect.
He explained that on the fateful day, a boda boda rider called Oringi 25 years was hired by Patrick Okello to take him within the town council at Shs 4,000 by Patrick Okema
But on reaching the destination, Patrick reportedly paid the boda boda Shs 2,000 and a disagreement ensued between the two and Patrick assaulted the boda boda and took off.
According to reports obtained by the PSU, the boda rider later reported the incident to a crime preventer who claimed to have known Patrick.
But three days later, Bayat landed on Oryema Patrick who had taken his wife for maternity at Pakwach Health Center IV and mistook him for Okello Patrick and immediately informed the police at Pakwach station who came and picked up Oryema.
He was then detained at the police cells. Evans Vuata said Oryema demanded to know why he was being arrested and detained but Okongo reportedly responded by forcing him in to the cells while ‘beating him’ with a baton.
This week, the government lost over Shs 50 million which is to be paid as compensation for various torture especially recorded by the police. Over the years, the police has been the leaders in torture and abuse of human rights contrary to their mandate of keeping law and order.
There has been concern over infiltration of unprofessional policemen in the country who carry out actions with impunity. This raises concern over the quality of those who qualify during recruitment and has tainted the image of the force.
He added after being forced in to the cells, Oringi the boda boda was called a day after to come and resume the case of assault, but on arrival, he found a different Patrick.
He said this made the police to release Oryema Patrick was had already sustained serious injuries from the beating and on reaching Pakwach HC IV, he was examined and found to be with a dangerous harm on the spinal cord, which the health officials said need close monitoring for at least three months while being treated.
The mistaken identity victim reported the matter to the PSU West Nile and a case of torture has been opened against Joseph and his two accomplishes.
Similarly three police officers attached to Arua CPS inquiry desk are refunding Shs 300,000 each after an exhibit of a suspect disappeared in their hands at the counter a week ago.