Opiyo was picked up by plain clothed security officials from Kamwokya in Kampala and driven off.
Police announced moments later that the lawyer was being held on allegations of money laundering.
“We would like to confirm the arrest of Lawyer Nicholas Opiyo by a Joint Task team of Security and Financial Intelligence, on allegations of money laundering and related malicious acts,” said Police. “The investigations are progressing well and any new developments will be communicated in due course. He remains in our custody at the Special Investigations Division.”
The arrest of the award winning lawyer and head of Chapter Four Uganda quickly sparked outrage on social media with growing calls for his immediate release.
Chapter Four Uganda said in a statement that it was “deeply concerned” about the arrest and detention of Opiyo as well as his safety and well-being “considering that he is being held outside of the protection of the law. “
“We are in the process of gathering facts and reviewing the situation and we will be taking measures to ensure his prompt release,” the human rights body said.
“Chapter Four legal team is taking action to ensure that Mr. Opiyo’s rights are respected and to ensure his prompt and unconditional release.”