Property mogul Sudhir Ruparelia, the proprietor of Crane Bank ( under receivership) wants Bank of Uganda (BoU) lawyers, MMAKS Advocates and AF Mpanga out of the case in which the Central Bank sued him 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.
In a case filed in Uganda’s High Court, Commercial Division on Wednesday September 6, 2017 against MMAKS Advocates, AF Mpanga Advocates-BOWMANS Uganda, Crane Bank Ltd (in receivership) and BoU, Sudhir argues that having worked with him, BoU lawyers know his dealings which offend the advocate-client relationship.
He adds that AF Mpanga Advocates worked on the breached confidential agreement, a thing that qualifies them as witnesses and therefore can’t be BoU lawyers.
“…With the help of my lawyers, Kampala Associated Advocates, I have read and understood the contents of the plant, the Written Statement of Defence and Counter Claim and the Reply to the Written Statement of Defence and the Defence to the Counter Claim which was filed out of time and I know that all the matters in issue in H.C.C.S493 of 2017 raises issues of conflict of interest as against law firms of MMAKS Advocates and AF Mpanga Advocates.
Sudhir therefore wants court to order a permanent injection restraining the lawyers in question from representing BoU and Crane Bank (in receivership).
He adds that the Plaint makes a number of false allegations about the “day to day” running of Crane Bank, with Sudhir being a “dominant executive force” and that nothing could have happened without his knowledge and approval.
“As the lawyers of the Bank, I will require MMAKS Advocates, in particular Mr. Timothy Masembe Kanyerezi among others as witnesses to defend me from these false allegations,” Sudhir says in his suit.
He adds: “As my personal lawyers, they are witnesses to the fact that I only sat on the Board of Directors and did not run the said Bank on the day to day basis, nor was I the dominant executive force.” He reveals that MMAKS Advocates were Crane Bank’s lawyers until the date of its takeover by BoU on 20th October 2016. Majority assets and some liabilities of Crane Bank were early this year sold to dfcu bank at an undisclosed fee.
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.