The attackers who killed popular social media influencer and critic shot him dead on Saturday using a pistol and not sub-machine gun as initially claimed.
Unknown assailants riding on a motorcycle gunned Ibrahim Tusuubira, better known by the aliases Isma Olaxess and Jajja Iculi, at around 9.20pm in Kyanja in Kampala’s Kawempe Division.
Investigators have turned spent cartridges they retrieved from the scene of crime for ballistic analysis to establish if the gun used is already finger-printed and belonging to a security agency or one in private possession.
They also used sniffer dogs at the crime scene in an effort to trace the shooters and recovery material of evidential value. Police declined to divulge what they found.
As the inquiries gained pace yesterday, detectives turned to owners of residences with private Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras for footages that may have captured the images of the assailants on arrival or during escape.
The assailants, according to accounts by individuals who identified themselves as witnesses, waylaid their victim in an isolated area of a fenced neighbourhood as his chauffeur Mathias Wasswa took him home.
No suspect had been arrested by press time yesterday and the driver was reportedly placed under police protection after calls on social media by some of the deceased’s fans for his arrest or a reprisal against him.
They questioned how the attackers left the chauffeur untouched. Sources close to the investigations said driver Wasswa already recorded a statement with detectives, recounting the Jajja Iculi’s last moments including places he visited and persons he met.
Investigators also retrieved his telephone communications records to analyse who he last spoke with, and if they nature of messaging could offer new clues on possible motive of the killing or identity of the masterminds.
Detectives yesterday combed the neighbourhood of the attack in search of possible video footage captured by CCTV cameras at private residences in order to help them identify the killer(s) said to have escaped on a motorcycle.
Detectives scoured as far as a kilometre apart for footage because they intended to establish the goings-on at the crime scene before and after the shooting.
Kampala Metropolitan Police Deputy Spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire said they are pursuing various leads he did not disclose, and access to any CCTV footage that captured image of the shooting or fleeing attackers would aid police inquiries.
“If any people [were] within the vicinity where the shooting happened, they should contact the police and share the CCTV camera footage. Our teams are also on [the] ground to see if they can get CCTV camera footage from private individuals,” Assistant Superintendent of Police Owoyesigyire said yesterday.
Jajja Ichuli, a Makerere University Bachelor of Commerce graduate-turned-professional painter in Sweden, returned to Uganda in the run-up to the 2021 elections as a for-hire social media influencer.
He first retailed as a supporter of the Opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) party before making an about-turn to back the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) in addition to moonlighting, at a fee, as an influencer for high-flying and often conflicting national politicians and security actors.
Police said his combative and abrasive tonality in his commentary on public and governance affairs and individuals meant he created many enemies, and they were investigating whether he was shot in a revenge or for other reasons.
Investigators said they believed he was intentionally targeted, which is why the driver was unhurt.
He was buried at his ancestral home in Nkokonjeru, Buikwe District, yesterday.
Initial videos captured by first responders, which were shared on social media, appeared to show there were no eyewitnesses during the shooting in the gated community.
Mr Owoyesigyire said the motive of the killing hasn’t yet been established.
Jajja Ichuli, loved by fans and loathed by victims of his tongue-lashing, had run-ins with the law on allegations of promoting hate speech and offensive communication in his videos. He regularly conducted live-streaming on Facebook, mainly in morning, and regularly featured in talk shows on television and radio, growing his following by leaps and bounds.
In October 2021, Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court remanded him to prison on allegations of offensive communication against an artiste Mr Emmanual Ssuuna alias Omulangira Ssuuna. He was later released on bail.