KAMPALA – Gen Caleb Akandwanaho, aka Salim Saleh, is mediating the standoff between Bank of Uganda (BoU) and Meera Investments Limited over the acquisition of the latter’s 48 properties by dfcu Bank in its controversial takeover of Crane Bank last year, PML Daily has learnt.
In February, Meera Investments Ltd, which is owned by businessman Sudhir Ruparelia, sued dfcu Bank, seeking to reclaim leasehold titles and developments for the 48 banking halls taken over by the latter when Crane Bank was liquidated. Also sued alongside dfcu Bank is the Commissioner for Land Registration, who is accused of conniving with dfcu Bank to transfer the leases of the 48 properties into the latter’s names without the consent of Meera Investments Ltd.
However, it has emerged that BoU and dfcu Bank have taken the mediation route after lawyers advised that they are likely to lose the properties if the case comes up for hearing in the Commercial Court.
Mediation talks between BoU and Mr Ruparelia have failed to take off and early this month, Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine, the mediator, wrote to Justice David Wangutusi, the head of the Commercial Court, stating that since he took over the mediation, there has not been any input by either party to the case
Gen Saleh is reported to have met all parties in the matter after being reached out by dfcu through a prominent city lawyer.
Sources said Mr Ruparelia is confident of recovering his properties first.
Meera Investments wants court to direct them to immediately cancel out Dfcu Bank as being the rightful owner of those properties and reinstate them as the rightful owners.
Meera in its law suit, claims that at the time when Bank of Uganda took over the management of then Crane Bank in October 2016 before its eventual sell to DFCU, was the leaseholder of the suit properties and paying US $6,000 every beginning of the year.
Meera adds that transferring the same properties to DFCU Bank without their prior written consent, is illegal
In exercise of its powers, Bank of Uganda in January transferred the liabilities of Crane Bank to DFCU Bank.
Prof Emmanuel Mutebile the Bank of Uganda Governor said in a statement that the central bank also conveyed Crane Bank’s assets to DFCU bank.