By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: City tycoon Hajji Hamis Kiggundu has applied for the arrest of the scheduled Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) controversial judgment due on Tuesday next week June 13 2023 at the Supreme Court. Hamis contends that he did this in order to demand for a fair hearing of his application which has been pending for one and a half years, TheSpy Uganda exclusively reports.
To give you a brief background, last week Ham with his lawyers of Muwema & Co.Advocates, together with the lawyers for DTB Bank of Kiryowa and Karugire Advocates (KK) were summoned by the Supreme Court for a pre-hearing of Ham’s application which sought to highlight the admission of illegalities on the side of DBT which, according to Ham’s lawyer Fred Muwema, were not substantially addressed by the court of appeal.
During the court session last Thursday, contrary to normal court procedures according to Mr Hamis, Hon. Justice Elizabeth Musoke shocked his lawyer Muwema when she revealed that the Chief Justice instructed her not to entertain the application for which they had been summoned,but rather inform the applicants that delivery of judgment in the main appeal is due on June 13, 2023, which is contrary to article 28 of the constitution which provides for the right to a fair, speedy and public hearing to all Ugandans by an independent and impartial court or tribunal established by law, and equally contrary to article 44 (c) of the constitution which provides that notwithstanding anything in the Constitution, there shall be no derogation from enjoyment of the right to a fair hearing. So every Ugandan has the right to be heard, Hamis told our reporter in an exclusive interview on Saturday afternoon.
The above compelled Ham through his lawyers to instantly file an application for the arrest of the scheduled judgment as it allegedly arose out of bias and perhaps the honorable court could not determine the main appeal before hearing and determining a miscellaneous application for judgment based on the bank’s admission to committing illegalities both in the high court and the supreme appeal.
“This Honorable court be pleased to arrest its judgement in supreme court civil appeal No.13/2021 which is scheduled to be delivered on the 13,June 2023 at 10:30am pending the hearing and determination of civil application no.051/2021 and the application for leave to adduce additional evidence,” reads part of Ham’s application.
Ham further prays thus; ”The applicants be granted leave to adduce additional evidence from the Central Bank of Kenya to elucidate and substantiate the illegality committed by the 2nd Respondent in respect of the disputed credit transactions between the “Applicant and the 2nd Respondent, the subject of this Appeal.”
The applicants filed a memorandum of appeal in Supreme Court Civil Appeal No 13/2021 saying the learned Justices of Appeal erred in law when they avoided to adjudicating the substantial question of illegality which was the basis of the Respondent’s Appeal before them.
The pending judgment in the Supreme Court stems from a series of legal proceedings initiated by Ham against Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) Uganda and DTB Kenya. The case originated from a syndicated banking agreement between Ham Enterprises Ltd and Kiggs International Ltd, and the two banks.
In October 2020, Commercial Court Judge Henry Peter Adonyo ruled in favor of Kiggundu, ordering DTB Uganda to refund all funds deducted from his accounts illegally. The honourable Court confirmed that the said deductions were made without Kiggundu’s knowledge and consent which was illegal. Records presented to the court revealed that Kiggundu had obtained loans totaling over Shillings 120 billion from DTB Uganda and DTB Kenya between 2011 and 2016 to finance his real estate business.
The dispute arose when the banks claimed that Kiggundu had failed to fulfill his loan obligations, amounting to Shillings 39 billion, as per the agreed terms. They threatened to seize the mortgaged properties. Kiggundu petitioned the commercial court, arguing that the withdrawn funds exceeded the outstanding loan amount, as he had already made full repayment.
“Let Ugandans know that I don’t any moneys to DTB as I have heard some of them alledge, they should get the facts right. The fact is it’s me who is demanding, because they deducted all their moneys I owed them and went ahead and deducted an extra amount of shs 120 billion stealthily without my knowledge, when I got wind of it, I asked them to meet my auditors and reconcile, which they refused because they knew what they had to my accounts. So Iam the one who went to court to compel them to reimburse back my money, not the other way round,” Ham explained.
Represented by Fred Muwema, Kiggundu sought to strike out the banks’ defenses and obtain an order for the refund of unlawfully obtained funds. Justice Adonyo dismissed the banks’ defense and directed them to refund the money, along with an 8% interest rate and the costs of the suit.
Displeased with the decision, the banks sought relief from the Principal Judge, Dr. Flavian Zeija, who granted an order to stay the execution of Adonyo’s orders. This prevented Kiggundu from recovering the funds. Subsequently, the banks appealed to the Court of Appeal. In a subsequent ruling, the Court of Appeal overturned Judge Adonyo’s order and ordered a retrial before a different judge. Dissatisfied with this decision, Kiggundu lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court.
The pending judgment in the Supreme Court will ultimately determine the outcome of Kiggundu’s appeal and the resolution of the ongoing legal battle between Kiggundu and DTB Uganda and DTB Kenya. Stay right here, because we shall take you blow by blow on this matter cum Tuesday next week.