Bank of Uganda has hired a high-end law firm in the planned prosecution of Uganda’s wealthiest man and former proprietor of Crane Bank, Sudhir Ruparelia.
ChimpReports has learned the Central Bank will use MMAKS Advocates to take on Sudhir and his associates in what many believe could turn out as the most dramatic legal battles in Uganda’s history.
Through Dfcu, Bank of Uganda has sued Sudhir and his Meera Investments, accusing him of fraud that reportedly caused Crane Bank a loss of Shs 400bn.
Sudhir is yet to speak out on the accusations leveled against him but his lawyers have since vowed a “solid defence” upon receiving court summons.
In the documents submitted to the Commercial Court, the Central Bank claims Sudhir siphoned over $92m from Crane Bank over a period of several years.
Bank of Uganda now wants Sudhir to pay back $92m at an interest rate of 12 percent per annum and 26 percent for more than Shs 8.2bn.
But members of the public are asking why all this happened yet the Central Bank runs a supervision department that monitors operations of all commercial banks.
The Central Bank also conducts annual audits of all commercial banks in the country.
The external lawyers taking on Sudhir is based in Kampala, Uganda.
On its website, the firm says it specialises in the fields of corporate and commercial law with particular expertise in banking and finance, real estate, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, employment and intellectual property.
MMAKS Advocates has been consistently ranked as a leading commercial law practice in Uganda and Africa by Chambers Global Guide.
Sources said the firm charges large sums of money while dealing with such complex cases.
Some reports indicated that Bank of Uganda has already hired the law firm at a staggering Shs 13bn.
Contacted, the central bank communications chief, Christine Alupo dismissed the claim as “absolutely unfounded and totally false.”
Timothy Kanyerezi Masembe is MMAKS’ most outstanding lawyer, appearing in many high profile cases involving banks.
He has also been consistently ranked as a Band 1 commercial lawyer by the Chambers Global.
On the firm’s website, Kanyerezi is described as an external lead counsel for the Bank of Uganda and has “thus been at the centre of the reconstruction and improvement of Uganda’s entire banking sector.”
He acted for the Bank of Uganda in a suit involving fraudulent acquisition and conveyance of securities encumbered by the Plaintiffs to secure a debt facility of USD 20 million.
Other lawyers in the firm include Timothy K. Masembe, Apollo N. Makubuya, Moses J. Adriko, Mathias V. Ssekatawa, Ernest S. Kaggwa, Isaac Walukagga among others.