Uganda’s High Court, Commercial Court Thursday disqualified lawyers David Mpanga from FK Mpanga Advocates and Timothy Kanyerezi Masembe from MMAKS Advocate from representing Bank of Uganda (BoU) against businessman Sudhir Ruparelia over conflict of interest.
The Central Bank is accusing property mogul Sudhir and his Meera Investments of fleecing the then Crane Bank of Shs397bn in disputed transactions, have been thrown out of the high profile case.
The ruling was read out by deputy registrar Lillian Bucyana on behalf of Justice David Wangutusi.
“In summary, the 1st and 2nd respondents (Timothy Masembe Kanyerezi and David Mpanga) represented Mr Ruparelia and he is their former client, so representing the current client (BoU) would be advantageous to them,” ruled justice David Wangutusi.
“In the result, the 1st and 2nd respondents are disqualified as being counsel for BoU. application is allowed and costs shall abide in the main case.”
The two affected lawyers were not present in court.
Sudhir’s lawyers; Peter Kabatsi, Elly Karuhanga and Bruce Musinguzi from Kampala Associated Advocates argued that it is prejudicial for MMAKS and AF Mpanga to appear on the bar in a case against Sudhir whose facts they were privy to since he was their client for over 12 years.
They asked court to put into consideration a confession where counsels from MMAKS advocates admitted to getting instructed to look into the shareholding of Crane Bank as well as holding various trainings for Crane Bank Directors.
Sudhir lawyers say MMAKS and AF Mpanga are potential witnesses in this case because they know more about the operations of Crane Bank.
After the ruling, the excited Sudhir said it was a “big blow to the people” earning billions of Shillings from Bank of Uganda, adding that he is going to expose the “conflicting lawyers” further.
“I am going to write to the law society in England about these conflicting lawyers affiliated in England and expose them,” Sudhir said.