Federal high court Lideta 19 criminal bench sentenced Okelo Akaye and et. al up to nine years rigorous imprisonment. Both defendants and federal prosecutor file their mitigation and aggravation statement on April 25, 2016 and today April 27, 2016 court render the final sentencing.
Though on its aggravation statement prosecutor demanded court to apply the new punishment guideline to render judgment court declined to accept the request because the defendants was found guilty of crime which happened mostly before the implementation of the new guideline in 2013. and since there were no lives claimed or property damaged in their criminal action court dismiss prosecutors claim to aggravate the punishment.
Prosecutor also claimed that their criminal activity would have claimed many lives, damage property and they would have brought serious national security danger if they were not caught and requested the court to make the sentencing at aggravated level. The court over ruled that too.
In the other hand court accepted the aggravating suggestion by the prosecutor saying, the court shall increase the penalty of the defendants because they acted together, form a criminal group to commit crimes.
Court accepted the defendant’s mitigation suggestion that they have never been guilty of any criminal charges before and also that they are responsible for their families.
In the other hand the court decline first defendant mitigation statement asking the court to lower punishment because he has been serving Gambela region as well as the federation in different capacity including the region health office from 1986 to 2000 till being the regional president in 2004
As a result first defendant Okelo Akaye by being member and leader of Gambela People Libration Movement and acting on secession of the region Gambela from the federation the court sentenced him for nine years imprisonment.
Second defendant David Ujulu by being member and foreign affair of Gambela People Libraetion Movement and acting on secession of the region Gambela from the federation, the court sentenced him for nine years rigorous imprisonment.
Third to seventh defendants (Uchan Opeye, Uman Nkyew, Ujulu Chamo, Ataka Uwar and Obang Umed) by being member of the Gambela Peoples Freedom Movement and participate in different activities of the group the court sentenced them to seven years rigorous imprisonment each.
First charged by the federal prosecutor on June 2014, Okelo Akaye and et.al court order the prohibition of their public right for two years.