Bank of Uganda has finally asked the owners of the unclaimed certificates of land titles of defunct banks to apply and reclaim them.
The land titles are 21 in number.
Some of the unclaimed certificates of land titles advertised by the Central Bank have been missing for more than 25 years under unclear circumstances.
“Bank of Uganda therefore invites the registered proprietors of the above properties or successors in title to present proof of ownership of the certificates of titles to the Director of commercial banking to claim the said titles” an advertisement in the newspapers reads.
The pressure to handover the titles follows Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID)’s letter to Central Bank Governor Prof Emmanuel Tumusiime calling on him to handover Ben Sekabira, the Director Financial Markets Development Coordination for prosecution after being implicated in theft of some of the titles.
Sekabira who didn’t honor the police summons, was supposed to show up at the CID Headquarters on 30th July, 2020 so that he can be produced in court for charges of concealing title deeds under section 278 of the penal code.
“This directorate has been investigating the above matter that arose from the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) with directives to the Inspector General of Police to immediately upon adoption of special audit report on defunct banks seizes all the land titles in possession of JN Kirkland and Associates and MS SIL Investment arising from the loan portfolio sold to MS Nile River Acquisition Company by Bank of Uganda,” CID’s Paul Katto Tumuhimbise told BoU Governor Prof Emmanuel Mutebile in a 27th July letter.
In 2018, Bank of Uganda top officials failed to explain to Cosase how they came to sell loans of three defunct banks at 93 percent discount to Nile River Acquisition Company (NRAC) registered in Mauritius, a tax haven.
David Opio Okello who once served at BoU as Executive Director Supervision and Acting deputy governor could not explain the role of M/S J.N. Kirkland & Associates which was contracted to identify a buyer of loans of Greenland Bank, Cooperative Bank and International Credit Bank.
M/S J.N. Kirkland & Associates would later identify Octavian Advisors, LP which expressed interest to purchase the assets of the three banks at US $.10.0 million from BOU but Following further negotiations with BoU, N4/s Octavian Advisors, LP registered NRAC in order to transact with BoU and finally bought the assets at US $5.2 million (Shs8.89 billion). The assets which included secured loans worth Shs35 billion, unsecured loans, poorly secured loans and unknown loans were sold in a lump sum, thus devaluing secured loans.
The debt portfolio comprised of Secured, Poorly secured, unsecured and unknown loans amounting to Shs135, 054, 430, 888,” Auditor General John Muwanga says in his special audit report of BoU on defunct banks. According to the report, the sale of the loans to NRAC resulted in a variance of about Shs126.2 billion.
Mr. Opio could not explain the rationale for selling assets of the three banks at 93 percent discount. MPs as such directed BoU officials to produce minutes of the meeting that led that decision, list of buyers of the assets from NRAC, the evaluation reports from BoU.
Asked why BoU had to sell loans of the three banks at US $5.2 million and not at US $10 million as early agreed with Octavian Advisors, LP, the holding company of NRAC, Opio could only say that BoU had collected Shs2 billion of the US$10 million before NRAC bought off the loans at a paltry Shs8.89 billion.
He also surprised the MPs when he said that Octovian Advisors LP did a due diligence of the loans and decided to buy at US$5.2 million, which price BoU accepted without even going to the ground to evaluate the assets attached to loans. BoU explained that they did desktop evaluation.
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