KAMPALA, Uganda: After this probing website painstakingly blew the cover off the sham auction at which businessman Sudhir Ruparelia purportedly bought the prime asset in town, the owner has opened up criminal charges against the MD of Equity Bank, Samuel Kirubi as well as the Credit Manager, Anthony Kituuka, we can incontrovertibly disclose.
Draughtsman Peter Kamya has dragged the top bankers to the criminal court accusing them of lawlessly hawking his properties to Sudhir. The two properties are Simbamannyo building and Afrique Suites Hotel. Simbamannyo is a high-end storied complex positioned behind the Kampala central police station and just opposite the high court building. Afrique Hotel is a 3-star hotel nestled away in Mutungo.
Kamya contends that the two suspects sold his properties in the midst of a lawsuit he had launched challenging the legitimacy of the loans Equity supposedly auctioned the assets for. Furthermore, he argues, the auction was concluded seven days before the due date and after money had changed hands between Sudhir and them.
“For their unethical acts and omissions of the said Samuel Kirubi and Anthony Kituuka, they are not fit and proper persons to be in the management of the Bank or any other Financial Institution in accordance with the 3rd schedule of the Financial Institutions Act, 2004,” Kamya filed last night.
Following the filing of the criminal charges, the duo have been duly summoned by court to appear for plea-taking. They are obligated to appear at the City Hall magistrates’ court on October 5th 2021, as per court summons we have since exclusively got hold of.
Whereas your attendance is necessary in court to answer charges of breach of duty of the mortgagee exercising power of sale contrary to Sections 27 and 39 (3) of the Mortgage Act of 2009, frauds on sale contrary to Section 310 of the Penal Code Act ( CAP 120), conspiracy to defeat justice contrary to Section 103 of the Penal Code Act ( CAP 120) and conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor contrary to Section 392 of the Penal Code Act (CAP 120), you are hereby commanded by the Government of Uganda to appear in this court on the 5th day of October 2021 at 10.00am or soon thereafter as the case can be heard,” reads the summons dated September 13.
The bone of contention is that whereas Equity bank advertised the auction to take place on October 8th 2020, Sudhir started paying for the properties on October 1st 2020. He wired a total of one million United States dollars to the lawyers of the bank known as Katende, Ssempebwa and company advocates.
“The said advance sale of the complainant’s properties was fraudulent and illegal as it was done contrary to the bank’s powers of sale as a mortgagee as provided under the Mortgage Act No.8/2009,” the aggrieved draughtsman submits.
Kamya says the fraudulent sale was conducted with the knowledge and approval of the MD and the Credit manager and that the advance sale amounted to a fraud because it falsified and misrepresented with a criminal motive, Equity’s alleged authority to sell or concealed facts material to its authority to sell.
Sudhir had contacted the lawyers for Equity to ask if the properties were available and the lawyers assured him the bank was going to sell them to no other person or entity apart from him. After giving a corporate guarantee in writing to the effect, Sudhir wired the deposit above to the lawyers in question and later cleared the balance of four million United States dollars.
But Kamya says what Sudhir paid for Simbamannyo was peanuts and that if Equity had carried out a comprehensive valuation of the property, they wouldn’t have sold the property so cheaply. Much as the bank says a company known as Luwaluwa Investments Limited is the one which bought the Hotel, Kamya contends that Sudhir bribed its director one Ronald Luwangula to disguise as the buyer of the hotel yet it was him who actually bought the recreation facility.
The fact that Luwangula is a Supreme Court Clerk, Kamya submits that there is no way he could have afforded to find a whopping USD4.3m, and merely in a matter of days, which he alleges to have paid to acquire the hotel.
Kamya says the two top Equity officials intentionally caused the rush and illegal sale of the properties so as to obstruct or interfere with the complainant’s right to pursue its claim of illegality of the loans against the bank.
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