The Plaintiffs brought this suit against the defendants
for punitive and general damages for unlawful arrest
and false imprisonment.
Court considered whether there was reasonable and
probable cause for the arrest of the plaintiffs.
Court ruled that the police’s power to arrest without a
warrant is essentially based on his having reasonable
ground to suspect that the person has committed a
cognisable offence or offences relating to nuisance and
offences against health and convenience (chapter xvii of
the Penal Code). His suspicion must be supported by
In the instant case, no police office from Jinja road
police station or from any police station at all was called
to testify as to the reasons upon which they acted in the
arrest of the plaintiffs. The evidence in the file was
based on mere suspicion. PW2 and PW3 on their part
testified to the effect they were suspected to have
caused the disappearance of the 5th defendant merely
because they came with the 5th defendant to Kampala
together from Migera on 8/8/88 and that the 5th
Defendant did not return to his home by 1V8/88. (six
Court found the above insufficient ground to justify the
police action to arrest the plaintiffs.
Court accordingly held that the detention of Plaintiffs by
the police was without reasonable and probable cause.
Consequently their detention at the police before they
were taken to court was unlawful.