After being ordered by the incorruptible commercial court Principal, Justice Stephen Mubiru to produce incriminating evidence against them in the dishonest purchase of Simbamannyo building plus Afrique Suites, city businessman, Sudhir Ruparelia and partner-in-dishonesty, Equity Bank have now resorted to sprinting away from the truth. Sudhir is infamous for avoiding the truth, The Investigator reports
In the case of Crane bank, he confessed to have run the same in the grave. And really, undertook too, both in writing, to pay back what had been extracted from the financial institution. Yet, when he had failed to meet his word, and after Bank of Uganda had now dragged him to the courts, to have him adhere by his word, Sudhir now resorted to skirting the truth. This, by using this and that excuse, till also, the courts of law played along, by exonerating the man from such mega fraud.
Now, just recently, and as we duly kept you posted, Justice Mubiru directed Equity Bank and Sudhir Lawyers, to produce evidence in it’s possession in relation to the auction under which the financial institution sold Simbamannyo and Afrique Suites to Sudhir and a certain, hirtheto scarcely known Ronald Luwangula. The proprietor of the two multi-billion properties, Arch. Peter Kamya had found fault with the auction, having been arranged and carried out not only secretly, but also a week prior to the date when Equity had duly advertised the same was going to be held.
Why do we beat around the bush, anyway? Let us hit the nail on the head. Equity themselves undertook to carry out the auction on October 8th 2020. Yet, do you know what they did? They walked back on their evidently clear undertacking, publicly issued out via the newspaper advert, by factually, secretly auctioning the two properties on October 1st 2020. Prior to auctioning the properties, Equity, other than waiting to receive bids from the prospective buyers, had secretly gone ahead and vended the properties in issue to Sudhir.
Trust this super investigative website. Just as Equity and Sudhir were there, secretly exchanging notes via email exchanges, we too, were also right up on the radar, watching whatever mischief that was now going on between the two partners-in-dishonesty. So, by the time Justice Mubiru came up with the ruling, requiring Equity and Sudhir to surrender the email exchanges, bank transactions and whatever is involved in this saga, we had good kursely duly served our duty to the truth by duly, and neatly so, publishing whatever had secretly gone on between the two partners-in-deceit. Earlier before on, this investigative website had taken it upon itself to inquire into as well as interrogate, these funny but not so funny dealings.
One of the suspected criminals in regard to this fraud, responded to our such immaculate reports by hiring out fellow accomplices who, hey, hacked and pulled down this website, to subvert the truth, as he is always, adamantly capable of doing. Anyway, we got back well in place to, once more, positively torment the rogues in town. Thanks to our audacity, in the face of daring criminals, the President got himself interested in this auctiongate affair. He wrote to the Attorney General and Bank of Uganda, tasking the two offices to carry out proper investigations to unravel how Sudhir had acquired the two properties in issue.
The two offices wrote back to the big man characteristically siding with Sudhir. They said Kamya had failed to put in court, a total of thirty percent out of the loan sums he owed Equity. So, they argued, Equity had been perfectly right to dispose of the securities. But wait there. The two offices, by ruling as they did, were also characteristically leaving out the whole factual truth, which is that, the auction process itself had been nothing else, but an absolute fraud. And now that Justice Mubiru has elected to unravel the truth by demanding for the emails and transactions leading to the actual auction of Simbamannyo and Afrique Suites, moreover, at a song, Equity and Sudhir has a genuine reason to be scared out of their skin.
Everything that needed to go wrong, indeed went wrong in this affair where the properties ended up dishonestly exchanging hands from Arch Kamya to Sudhir, and, at the alter of Equity. First of all, as early as October 8th the lawyers of Equity bank, Katende and Ssempebwa Advocates, notably, Sim Katende, were contacting Sudhir to make available the sale of Simbamannyo. This was now against the previous public undertaking by the bank itself to receive bids from prospective buyers, and obviously, in breach of the sale date of October 20,2020.
Sudhir would email back asking for a guarantee that his deposit of USD1M would be refunded in case the deal had fallen flat by the fact that the financial institution was going against their initial plan, now calling for prospective buyers as opposed to vending the properties to him. Equity wrote back clearly buying into Sudhir’s idea. Then Sudhir made the deposit but evidently as against the duly advertised auction date which had been rendered by the bank itself. No wonder then, that Sudhir would consequently rush through the transfer and caveating of Simbamannyo which he did in a single day, and in a matter of hours, which is uncharacteristic of our Titles’ registry Office which is known to take days and even months, to effect land transfers.
A probing mind would consequently ask for what was Sudhir in a rush to transfer and caveat the property, if it was not for the mischief of skirting the legal appeal process, which the owner had now set in motion against the dubious auction of the property? In any case, and as opposed to the norm, nor did the Title registry write to Kamya prior to removing his caveats, which he had obviously placed on the property in fear of the mischief, which actually ended up taking place, and in the questionable fashion that it did. Coming to the Afrique property, almost whatever that happened in the case of the auction of Simbamannyo, also happened in the transaction leading to it’s transfer,save that Equity this time round alleges, it sold the property to one Ronald Luwangula.
We have ably made known previously how Luwangula is a Court Clerk who, we would think, is incapable of raising the USD4M which Equity recorded as the money at which they exchanged the property for. As if to acquit our view which is that Luwangula was merely an agent of Sudhir used to disguise his purchase of Afrique, the bank would use USD700,0000 out of the deposit paid by Sudhir, now to pay Luwangula, the purported buyer of Afrique Suites! We have impeccably learned that poor man Luwangula didn’t eat the carrot alone, but with some fat cats in Equity, and within the legal fraternity who were involved in ensuring this deal took place. Revealingly, the transfer of Equity into Luwangula’s so-called firm of Luwaluwa Investments and caveating were a complete replica of the one and Simbamannyo in both form and substance.
They all happened on the same day and same hours. So much for two different transactions happening between two different strangers! Now that Mubiru wants to understand what went on, Equity and Sudhir are protesting to the Court of Appeal. Sim Katende argue they cannot share their clients` `confidential` information. But since when did such kind of maniplative argument become a roadblock to stop the court from reaching the ends of justice? Justice Mubiru last Friday denied him leave to appeal the ruling. “It is a simple question. Do you have the documents or not?” Was Mubiru`s response. He never entertained Katende`s stammering that he would first consult his clients. The no-nonsense Judge, who now goes on record as the only Ugandan Judge to say `NO` to Sudhir, gave Katende up to Tuesday (tomorrow September 13th2022), to produce the documents or dance to the necessary music.
For starters, it is Sim Katende himself through him, all the said transactions were executed. So, he is party to his clients in this particular matter. Sudhir argues he bought the properties in good faith and so, he should be treated as a bonafide purchaser for value. But what happens supposing the transaction was itself a nullity for having offended the law? We feel these are pertinent questions which Justice Mubiru want to interrogate and resolve, but which, Equity and Sudhir are now trying to run away from, by trying to involve the Court of Appealor even, Supreme Court.
- Mr. Stephen Kasozi Muwambi is a seasoned crime investigative writer, majoring in judicial-based stories. His two decades’ experience as a senior investigative journalist has made him one of the best to reckon on in Uganda. He can also be reached via [email protected]
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