The tough and incorruptible commercial courts’ Principal, Justice Stephen Mubiru has refused to cede to businessman Sudhir Ruparelia and Equity Bank’s soiled tricks of using the Temple of Justice to hide emails which exchanged hands before the former dubiously purchased Simbamannyo building and Afrique Suites, the Investigator authoritatively reports.
Equity Bank’s lawyer, Sim Katende, who was heavily involved in the impugned deals, had last week, been sent away on account of having turned up in court without the emails. He then, was tasked to strictly return with them. Katende instead frown upon such clear court directives by now going to the Inspector of Courts.
The Inspector of Courts (IC), Hon. Justice Rubby Aweri Opio, indeed wrote a calling letter to Justice Mubiru,directing him to surrender the file on the way to suspiciously passing it on to another friendly Judge who would then end up by, most likely, doing as Sudhir and Equity Bank desire. “Under Sections 9 and 11 of the Administration of the Judiciary Act, 2020, I am writing to immediately call for the entire file of [the case] and all other Misc. Applications arising thereunder for our perusal as a matter of urgency,” read the letter in part, whose author is also a Judge of Supreme Court.
It is this letter, as written by the IC, which Katende would now come back and recklessly wave to the judge in the hope that, he was going to now feel threatened and, actually do as the inspector had desired him to do.But trust Justice Mubiru. He started off by giving Katende a washing down. And then, went on to dismiss the entire application in which Equity and Sudhir had now sought to use to appeal against the production of the impugned emails, plus, the other information relating to the dubious transactions which had transpired between Sudhir and Equity, and which, are relevant to unlock this saga one way or the other. And trust Mubiru further. The dismissal came along with costs.
Briefly, Equity sold off the two high-end properties erected by Arch Peter Kamya. Yes, Kamya had failed to return the loans which he had borrowed from the bank. But he had not only set in motion, an appeal process against such auction, but the same had been concluded in an irregular and dubious manner. First, what was paraded as a public auction and, Equity actually advertised the same calling for the prospective buyers, instead turned out to be a secret and deceitful deal. Sudhir was contacted secretly by Equity’s lawyer, Sim Katende via email on October 1, 2020 vending the properties.
Sudhir`s lawyers would respond positively by wiring a deposit of USD1M, out of the USD5M of the purchase price, to the accounts of the lawyers of Equity. This was happening a week to the date which had been clearly given by Equity Bank, to sell the properties under review. Instead of being retained by the bank, USD700,000, out of Sudhir’s USD1M deposit, was paid to a stranger in Ronald Luwangula who was now presented as the buyer of Afrique Suites whereas not. The properties were then dubiously converted to Meera Investments and Luwaluwa Investments Limited in only a matter of hours, and also caveated as so.
But so much for the purchasers and the bank who were having nothing to hide about the impugned deals.These are the data which Justice Mubiru seeks to be produced to court and which, Equity and Sudhir excusably, are unwilling to make known. And so, the ongoing fishy moves of taking the file away from Mubiru.We shall be high up on the radar to capture and relay to the world whatever will be going on around this saga.In the meantime, we understand that Sim Katende is trotting to the Court of Appeal, to again challenge Mubiru`s judgement. Watch this space…
- 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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