The Supreme Court Registrar has summoned lawyers from 17 law firms for a pre-hearing conference scheduled to commence on Thursday. The conference, presided over by Lady Justice Elizabeth Musoke, aims to address legal matters and establish the framework for arguments and submission timelines in civil applications.
The summons, signed by Supreme Court Registrar Harriet Ssali Nalukwago on May 29th, 2023, states that the conference’s objective is to determine hearing dates for the listed appeals and applications and to establish the format for presenting arguments, including the time frames for filing written submissions. The summons further indicates that the invited lawyers are not required to wear court robes when attending the conference.
The law firms summoned include Muwema and Company Advocates, Kimanje Nsibambi Advocates, AF Mpanga Advocates, Magezi, Ibale and Company Advocates, Mujuzi and Company Advocates, MRK Advocates, Rwakafuuzi and Company Advocates, Mugerwa Kusaasira and Company Advocates, Sebalu and Lule Advocates, Mmaks Advocates, the Legal Department of National Forestry Authority, Akampumuza and Company Advocates, Jjingo Ssempijja and Company Advocates, Mujuzi and Company Advocates, Okello Oryem and Company Advocates, Abaine Buregyeya and Company Advocates, and the lawyers representing Bank of Uganda in the application filed by Christopher Kisembo and Another against the Cooperative Bank Limited in Liquidation.
One of the prominent public interest cases scheduled for the pre-hearing is the matter in which City businessman Hamis Kiggundu filed an application against Diamond Trust Bank Uganda and Diamond Trust Bank Kenya in the Supreme Court. Kiggundu seeks a judgment on admission, arguing that the lawyers representing DTB admitted in lower court records that their client operated without a license as required under the Financial Institutions Act of Uganda.
He claims that more than Shillings 120 billion was fraudulently withdrawn from his bank accounts without his consent or approval during the period of his loan acquisition between 2011 and 2016. Kiggundu’s legal team has requested judgment to be entered on admission in accordance with Order 13 Rule 6 of the Civil Procedure Rules, which allows courts to issue judgments based on the admission of facts made in pleadings or at any stage of the suit.
The Commercial Court ruled in Kiggundu’s favor on this issue, considering not only the admission of facts but also the illegality committed by DTB Kenya by operating without a license when granting the loan in question. However, DTB’s lawyers argue that the Supreme Court Justices should disregard the judgment on admission and refer the matter back to the High Court Commercial Division for a fresh hearing, as ordered by the Court of Appeal.
They highlight the potentially far-reaching consequences on the banking sector and the economy if Kiggundu’s application is decided in his favor, emphasizing that the main appeal cannot be determined without concluding this application. Other public interest cases scheduled for pre-hearing include Dembe Trading Enterprises Limited versus Birungi Cephas Kagyenda, Remegio Obwana versus the Registered Trustees of Tororo Diocese, Vivo Energy Uganda Limited versus Lydia Kisitu, and Sadick Kakaire and Another versus Uganda National Examinations Board, among others.