Most analysts say lawyers misled Bank of Uganda to make decisions that led to the closure of commercial banks, and after illegal sale of banks and their assets.
Whereas the BoU ultimately bear the responsibility of making the final call, the role of lawyers who have made fortunes from offering their services ahead of bank closures and later, work on commission in disposal of properties, has not thoroughly scrutinized.
Now BoU retained lawyer Timothy Masembe of MMAKS Advocates has been summoned to appear before Cosase on Tuesday, February 12 at 2pm without fail.
This after Mr Masembe, a prominent member of the bar, failed to honour Parliament summons to explain his role in the defunct banks now under probe.
Mr Masembe’s advice, at least, was instrumental in the controversial closure and sale of Crane Bank (CBL) to Dfcu. He is also the lawyer who was captured by CCTV cameras visiting embattled executive director in charge of commercial banks supervision, Justine Bagyenda, on a Sunday.
Mr Masembe was a no show at the Cosase probe on Tuesday, forcing the committee to kick out lawyers who claimed to represent him.
Cosase’s Abdu Katuntu ordered them to return at 2pm with all supporting documents and also summoned lawyer Masembe to appear in person.
It is reported that MMAKS Advocates were paid Shs914, 272,722 for legal advice for CBL intervention, resolution and advice on the sale of CBL assets and assumption of liabilities.
The firm would further be paid extra Shs3 billion as 5% commission monies recovered from CBL shareholders. The MPs contend those payments were exaggerated to benefit some BoU senior staff and lawyers involved in the sale of CBL.