Supreme Court Judge, Justice Rubby Aweri Opio is officially dead. Opio was announced dead by the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Anita Among today. He deceases only five days after the demise of Arch Peter Kamya. On Monday in these pages, we had unofficially announced Opio`s death, only to be directed by the judicially to unpublish the story, saying he was still alive. We indeed obliged positively.
Well, the story here is not about Justice Aweri`s death. People die. The story is about some of his deeds he committed while here with us. A pragmatic Judge, Opio nearly died on duty. He left his place of work barely two weeks ago to go to Mulago hospital from where, he died today. Among the last files he handled was the popular one of Arch. Peter Kamya. Kamya is the businessman who’s multi-billion properties; Ssimbamannyo House and Afrique Suites were sold off via mere email exchanges in a feigned `public` auction!
But Justice Aweri, 69, blocked a fellow Judge, Justice Stephen Mubiru, from calling for production of these evidence-packed emails to court, in a bid to verify the illegality of the whole transaction! Aweri is said to have clinically passed on over the weekend from Mulago’s Intensive Care Unit where, he had reportedly been booked, suffering from terminal cancer.
Aweri’s death occurs hardly a week after that one of Architect Peter Kamya, and less than two months, after he had controversially used a mere administrative letter to block Justice Stephen Mubiru, the head of Commercial Section of the High Court, from inspecting the offensive emails over which, Equity bank had secretly sold Ssimbamannyo and Afrique Suites to controversial businessman Sudhir Ruparelia.
Following Aweri’s letter calling for the file of the case which Kamya had lodged to protest the impugned sale, the proceedings have since stalled. And the same led the aggrieved businessman to die without receiving justice. Before all that, Justice Mubiru had rejected to act on Aweri’s letter to stop hearing of the case and instead, dismissed the application by Equity Bank in cahoots with Sudhir, to appeal against the production of the impugned emails. Justice Mubiru had also rejected underhand methods by one of the veteran advocates in town for him to stop demanding for the production of the emails.
Because the `underhand` advocate had happened to teach Mubiru at the Law Development Center, the same had made him to mistakenly believe he would be able to bend the judge to do as he wished. But the tough judge not only rejected what his lecturer was asking him of. He also ended up embarrassingly throwing him out of his chambers. This is when a plot was made to approach Justice Aweri to write a letter asking for the file. But to this, Justice Mubiru also snubbed by dismissing the application by Equity and Sudhir to appeal his order to produce the emails.
All the same, the file was later produced to Aweri who handed it to Justice Cheborion Barishaki of the Court of Appeal and who went ahead and stopped the hearing of the case. As we were still at it, then disturbing news came out to the effect that Arch Kamya had been suspiciously poisoned. This investigative media website broke the story of Arch Kamya’s suspected poisoning on November 22. Prior to his death from Aga Khan hospital in Nairobi, Kamya had reportedly complained of a painful stomach and a heavy chest which medical personnel had reportedly attributed to internal organs damage as a result of possible poisoning.
It should be recalled that following our intense search for the truth regarding the impugned sale of Arch Kamya’s properties by Equity to Sudhir, our website and personnel accounts were hacked into. In matter of fact, the hackers managed to temporarily put down our website but we since struggled and put it back as you yourselves can witness it is running not only smoothly, but also going from strength to strength.
Ours and police investigations into our website, emails and social media accounts` hacking would later, lead us to the door of Sudhir Ruparelia as the one who had hired and paid the hackers to hack us and actually, put down our media website. Prior to that, the businessman had reached out to us, through his blue-eyed boy Ussa Ssegawa, to plead with us not to run the story regarding his fishy purchase of Ssimbamannyo and Afrique Suites.
Having rejected to kowtow to his pleas, Sudhir, again through Ussa Ssegawa, then hired hackers including blogger Ashburg Kato as their coordinator, to hack us the individuals plus this website. We later arrested Ussa Ssegawa who positively identified his boss Sudhir as the one who had instructed him to find the hackers to carry out the criminality. Ssegawa was simply corroborating the hackers’ own confessions that it was Sudhir who had hired them to hack us.
We duly submitted all that evidence to the detectives who upon confirming our own investigations, handed over the case file to the DPP to sanction and forward the same to court for prosecution of the culprits. But, alas, the DPP has since secretly closed the case file without any recourse to us, let alone to our lawyers of Muwema and Company advocates.
But that shouldn’t surprise anyone, since whichever case which is brought against Sudhir and anyone of his family members, is promptly closed by the DPP. The latest being that one of the dumping of debris in Lake Victoria at Kitubulu lakeshores where the businessman is erecting a hotel. Much as the regulator, NEMA, had found Sudhir and his son, Rajiv Ruparelia at fault and told them to make due amends, the same would not move the DPP to act.
Back to Ssimbamannyo case. For starters, Equity had not only sold the collaterals in question over email, but the transaction had also been negotiated and sealed in breach of the financial institution’s terms to sell the collaterals through a public auction as per the Ad the bank had ran. Upon the completion of the dubious sale, Sudhir would rush through the transfers and caveating of the collaterals which processes took merely two hours and that, in only a single day. How Sudhir could manage to transfer the collaterals in light of the caveats Arch Kamya had lodged over them, is a question that we may never get an answer for, given the machinations taking place in the so-called Temple of Justice. 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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