Uganda’s richest man Sudhir Ruparelia has exposed Bank of Uganda (BoU) lawyers, MMAKS Advocates and AF Mpanga in new evidence adduced before Uganda’s High Court, Commercial Division.
Last Wednesday Sudhir told Court that he wanted the lawyers in question out of the case in which the Central Bank sued him and his firm Meera Investments for allegedly causing financial loses to the Bank (Crane Bank), on grounds that they have conflict of interest since they were his lawyers at Crane Bank.
Consequently, the lawyers denied being Sudhir’s clients.
However, in an affidavit adduced before Uganda’s High Court, Commercial Division on Monday September 11, 2017 against MMAKS Advocates, AF Mpanga Advocates-BOWMANS Uganda, Crane Bank Ltd (in receivership) and Bank of Uganda, Sudhir exposes the lawyers with documentary evidence.
In Court documents obtained by Business Focus, Sudhir says the assertion that MMAKS Advocates have never been his personal lawyers or lawyers for companies in which he has an interest in manifestly false.
“I know MMAKS Advocates was instructed to represent Crane Bank Limited, Meera Investments Limited, Rosebud Limited and Speke Hotel (1996) Limited, companies in which I have an interest in a dispute regarding memorandum and articles of Association of the said companies and a law firm Joel Cox Advocates,” Sudhir says in a rejoinder evidence to the main case.
He adds: “A consent judgment was subsequently entered and signed on behalf of Crane Bank Limited, Meera Investments Limited, Rosebud Limited and Speke Hotel (1996) Limited by Mr. Timothy Masembe Kanyerezi of MMAKS Advocates.
Sudhir also adduced documents showing millions of Shillings BoU lawyers have been getting from his companies.
“As majority shareholder in Meera Investments Limited I know that I have personally instructed Mr. Masembe and MMAKS Advocates on a number of transactions for Meera Investments Limited,” Sudhir pins the lawyers, adding: “By way of example, I personally instructed MMAKS Advocates, received and approved a fee note from MMAKS Advocates for work done in preparation of a sale/purchase agreement and registration of transfers of property comprised in Kyandondo Block 208 Plots 555, 556, 557, 558, 559, 560, 561, 562, 563 and 564 Kawempe.”
Sudhir insists that due to conflict of interest, the lawyers should quit the case because they will be his witnesses.
On AF Mpanga, Sudhir says: “I will require AF Mpanga Advocates as witness to confirm that in handling of the constitutional court case on such a sensitive matter I was not in close day to day control of the case and hence the allegations in the Plaint are false.”
On June 30, 2017, BoU sued Sudhir and his investments firm Meera Investments Ltd to recover about Shs400bn allegedly extracted fraudulently from Crane Bank together with Freehold titles of the Bank’s branches.
BoU took over Crane Bank on 20th October 2016 after the bank became ‘significantly undercapitalized’.
Majority of the assets and some liabilities of Crane Bank were early this year sold to dfcu bank- at an undisclosed fee.