Public demands resignation of BoU governor over loss to Crane Bank
By Our Reporter
Sections of the general public have reacted to the June 23 2020 court defeat of Bank of Uganda in a civil suit with the defunct Crane Bank
As the country is still pondering the way forward in the Bank of Uganda persistent court losses, a section of others are saying enough is enough the governor should save the country that shame and embarrassment and resign his job in public interest.
The governor has openly lost three consecutive court cases on same matter concerning the defunct Crane bank and has been ordered to pay all suit costs to Dr.Sudhir Ruparelia and Meera investment.
The concerned members of the public are wondering how the Central bank equipped with a full directorate of legal affairs comprising of top legal brains could fail in their duty to advise governor Mutebile about the implications these court losses put the entire reputation of the bank.
There is fear that the mafias could have infiltrated this sole regulator of all the country’s financial institutions which is very unfortunate and is an eye opener calling for the outright resignation of the governor.
This stems from the court of Appeal on Tuesday June 23, 2020 which upheld an earlier high Court ruling compelling Bank of Uganda (BoU) to compensate city business man Dr Sudhir Ruparelia, for alleging that he and others illegally removed over Shs397Bn that had been injected into his Crane Bank for recapitalization.
The ruling emerges from a 2016 case BoU filed on behalf of Crane Bank (under Receivership), alleging that Sudhir, businessman Godfrey Kirumira and others allegedly siphoned money that BoU had used to recapitalize the defunct CBL before they wound it up and sold it to troubled dfcu Bank via a phone call.
But despite filing the appeal, even the Court of Appeal has also withheld the High Court Ruling and dismissed the Appeal with costs to the Respondent (Sudhir and Another) meaning that the burden to be borne by the Bank of Uganda in compensating him has doubled.
This was after a Panel of Court of Appeal judges led by Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny- Dollo upheld the judgment of Commercial Court judge David K. Wangutusi in an application filed by Bank of Uganda, seeking a refund of Shs397 billion from Sudhir which he allegedly pulled out from Crane Bank. The Court of Appeal dismissed the case with costs.
Hell broke loose when Bank of Uganda (BoU) alongside Crane Bank (in receivership) dragged Sudhir and his Meera Investments Limited to the High Court Commercial Division, for allegedly causing a financial loss to Crane Bank after he fraudulently siphoned Shs397 billion which belonged to customers before the financial institution was taken over by the Central Bank.
However, the presiding judge, Justice David Wangutusi dismissed BoU’s application on grounds that Crane Bank in receivership lacked a legal basis to sue Sudhir.
The judge ordered that the applicant (BoU) should also pay the businessman legal costs.
But it should be noted that this is now the third time Sudhir is flooring officials Bank of Uganda, after court last year also ruled that dfcu Bank should vacate all the 49 properties belonging to Meera Properties Limited, which had been leased out to Crane Bank.
Trouble for dfcu bank started in 2016 when they bought Crane Bank at Shs200m, after it was illegally wound up by the Central Bank, on top on inheriting its assets and liabilities.
However, when the Auditor General was conducting a forensic audit into the sale of Crane Bank, he ascertained that dfcu Bank only paid Shs139 billion, which it borrowed from the regulator (BoU), and the credit facility an interest free loan, which exposed the conflict of interest and collusion between the buyer (dfcu) and seller (BoU).
It was not long before it came to light that the process of selling Crane Bank was a conspiracy hatched by Bank of Uganda officials together with city lawyers and dfcu Bank managers.
Court thus evicted dfcu Bank from all properties which initially housed Crane Bank branches across the country after ruling that they had been illegally seized from Meera Investments. It was also decreed by court that dfcu Bank had to compensate Meera Investments LTD and Sudhir for the losses they had incurred during the time dfcu Bank was illegally occupying their buildings.