KAMPALA – The Bank of Uganda (BoU) is back into public scrutiny with billions of tax payer’s money set to be used to pay city tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia after Court of Appeal on Tuesday, June 23 dismissed a multi-billion case in which Bank of Uganda had sued the businessman and his Meera Investments Ltd seeking to recover about UGX. 397 billion from the directors of the defunct Crane Bank Ltd.
In a ruling read by Court Registrar Mary Babirye, the panel of judges led by Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo and justices Cheborion Barishaki and Steven Musota, unanimously noted that after a careful perusal of the evidence submitted, they found no misconduct against Mr. Ruparelia that would warrant litigation and ordered BoU to pay costs of the suit.
It is understood that Bank of Uganda is mooting an appeal, but with the bank losing various other cases against the city businessman in the lower courts ever since the matter came to the fore three years ago, the public has grown agitated about the stance of BoU legal team, which seems to have no chance against the well prepared businessman.
“Why did BOU appeal a case thrown out on technicalities? I am suspicious of BOU lawyers. Sudhir shouldn’t be celebrating a case whose suit was faulty ab initio,” wrote Mr. Ramathan Kyomugisha, moments after the Court of Appeal threw out the BoU.
In their ruling where they threw out all the arguments of the Bank of Uganda team, the justices of the Court of Appeal also noted that at the time of the filing of the suit in January 2017, Crane Bank Ltd was already in receivership and a non-existing entity whose lifetime was terminated when the central bank sold its assets to dfcu Bank in October 2016.
The crushihg deafeat of Bank of Uganda, comes after the central bank lost countless legal suits, mosy of them against tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia, with BoU being faulted for fielding a weak legal team.
On advice of the internal legal team headed by Ms. Margaret Kasule, BoU, after closing Crane Bank, sought to recover UGX.397 billion from Mr. Sudhir and 48 land titles that housed former Crane Bank branches, saying he had illegally taken them out of the bank.
But the businessman, fielding a strong legal team from the prominent Kampala Associated Advocates with former Solicitor General Peter Kabatsi and former Director for Civil Litigation Mr.Joseph Matsiko watching of the the matter has proved to good to the BoU side.
The central bank has since hired the services of old hands Dr. Joseph Byamugisha, after Mr. Sudhir broked a hoist of prominent city law firms from rendering services to BoU over conflict of interest.
Mr Ruparelia on Tuesday praised his legal team for doing a good job and warned that the central bank would pay huge costs.