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Ivory trafficker gets 8 months, conservationists criticize sentence

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Ivory trafficker gets 8 months, conservationists criticize sentence

Nicholas Ayoma,       (in yellow T-shirt) was convicted to 8 months in prison. His colleagues Stephen Alyon and Abibu Kazomi pleaded not guilty.[/caption]

One of the three men that were nabbed with 45kgs of Ivory in Kiryandongo district last week has been sentenced to 8 months in jail,   a punishment that has angered conservationists as too light.

Ayoma Nicholas (wearing yellow T-shirt in picture), a resident of Ayuela village, pleaded guilty to two charges of; Illegal possession of Wildlife protected species and Illegal entry to a protected area contrary to section 75 and 30 of the Wildlife act of Uganda.

The case was heard by Grade one magistrate in Kiryandongo town on March 10, 2016.

Two of Ayoma's colleagues Stephen Alyon and Abibu Kazomi, denied similar charges and were remanded to prison until March 15, 2016 for further hearing.

The trio was nabbed on Marhc 2, by officials from NRCN, Uganda Wild Life Authority (UWA) and police with 45kgs of mature ivory. They led the investigators into Karuma game reserve where they found a decomposing elephant, suspected to have been poisoned by the trio to obtain ivory.

Ayoma's sentence attracted criticism from conservationists.

Vincent Opyene, the Chief Executive Officer of the Natural Resource conservation Network (NRCN) one of the three organizations that collaborated to arrest the three traffickers said:

“This is the lowest sentence ever for Ivory case and we must appeal against it,

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