By our reporter
Bank of Uganda (BoU) bosses will on Tuesday face the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) to explain why they are spending public funds with reckless abandon to hire external lawyers in the case where the Central bank wants city businessman Sudhir Ruparelia to return shs400 billion he lost in managing liquidated Crane Bank.
As the case kicked off, BoU hired Timothy Masembe’s MMAKS and David Mpanga’s AF Mpanga Advocates to corner Sudhir and force him to cough over Sh400 billion. The campaigned kicked off as a New Vision expose, geared towards discrediting the Ruparelia Group boss who owns a chain of business interests in real estate, hospitality, education, agriculture among others.
Sudhir represented by Kampala Associated Advocates however made a strong response to the accusation, including challenging the ethical conduct of BoU lawyers who were his lawyers in the first place, and it was against the legal profession to turn around and prosecute their own client. Stuck on how to progress, BoU sacked the lawyers from the case, and brought Sebalu Lule and Co. Advocates.
What however incensed the public that parliament is interested in this case is the amounting of money paid to the lawyers even before they did any work.
On top of the fact that BoU has retained the services of MMAKS and AF Mpanga Advocates as external lawyers, the central bank went ahead to pay upfront fees for Sudhir’s prosecution, even before establishing how far the case would go. The bank defended the move as part of the procedure.
In the process, over Sh3.6 billion has been spent on two law firms and going by the proceedings so far, judges are interested in the two conflicting parties to go through a mediation process and settle the matter amicably.
Abdu Katuntu’s Cocase will on Tuesday interface with the Bank’s bosses to hear more of what warranted the bank’s reckless expenditure.
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