KAMPALA, Uganda: Commercial court’s head Justice David Wangutsi will deliver the ruling after East Africa’s tycoon Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia accused the two lawyers, Timothy Kanyerezi Masembe and David Mpanga of acting with bias towards him.
The court’s deputy registry issued a statement on December 12 to communicate the date of the ruling to Sudhir, Masembe as well as to Mpanga. Masembe is one of the managing partners in the firm of advocates known as Masembe, Makubuya, Adriko, Karugaba, Ssekatawa and Company Advocates (MMAKS). While Mpanga practices with A.F.Mpanga and company advocates.
According to Dr. Sudhir, the two lawyers acted for him and many of his companies previously before switching sides to represent Bank of Uganda in a lawsuit where the latter accuses the former of allegedly taking close to Ushs400Bn out of Crane Bank.
The businessman argues that the above client-lawyer relationship helped the two lawyers to get access to a lot of insider information which they have since passed on to Bank of Uganda and actually using the same to further the central bank case against him.
Sudhir was the majority shareholder in Crane Bank before Bank of Uganda closed the financial institution, claiming that it had run out of the requisite working capital. After taking over the bank, Bank of Uganda went ahead and sold it to Dfcu bank at what Sudhir says was a song in comparison to its assets and capital at the time of the transaction.
While the two lawyers concede to have acted for companies in which Sudhir holds a stake, they deny having done so on the instruction of him. In effect, they argue that the companies they acted for were legally distinct from Sudhir and they instructed them to carry out the work they did.
Be that as it may, Bank of Uganda have since hired another firm of Sebalu, Lule and Company advocates on top of Masembe and Mpanga whom Sudhir calls conflicted lawyers for having acted for him in the past. Indeed Sudhir wants the two lawyers to be his witnesses and those of Crane Bank because he and the financial institution always acted on their professional advice to do what they did..
Court will now pronounce itself on whether Masembe and Mpanga were right to work against their former client in this case Sudhir. And whether they can turn into his witnesses as the businessman Is demanding. Costs will go to the winning party in this application.