By Spy Uganda
Tycoon Hamis Kiggundu aka Ham has petitioned Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo to intervene in his scandal with Diamond Trust Bank after the Supreme court allegedly expressed bias in hearing and delivering the judgement.
Ham, who is represented by lawyers Fred Muwema and Arnold Kimara, wants the Supreme court to determine the admission of illegality by Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) in their protracted Shs 120bn legal battle.
“My Lord Chief Justice, we have been instructed to write to the panel hearing the above appeal which you head to to communicate our clients’ apprehension of apparent bias which has been exhibited by court’s refusal to hear and determine the above application,” reads part of the petition.
The matter is before a five-member panel of justices led by Owiny-Dollo, Opio Aweri, Faith Mwondha, Percy Tuhaise and John Mike Chibita.
This stems from a December 1 decision by Didas Muhumuza, the assistant registrar of the Supreme court, to decline to process the hearing of Ham’s application on grounds that it did not raise any new issue and that what Ham seeking would be taken care of in another pending judgment between the two parties.
However, Ham suspects bias and reasons that since applications to the Supreme court are not determined by views of the registrars, his application should be forwarded to the justices of the Supreme court.
Ham and DTB are already battling in the Supreme court over a related matter that has been argued before the High court. Both parties have already made submissions and the difference with Ham’s new application is that it is based on DTB’s submissions.
“At the time of writing this letter, our client’s application remains in limbo with a possibility that its propriety will not be investigated and yet it can be rendered moot by the final decision of the court which is due any time,” reads the petition drafted by Muwema.
“Our client believes that except for apparent bias, there is no reason why they are denied a chance to be heard and possibly succeed on the appeal when his application for judgement on admission is considered.”
Genesis Of This Saga
Diamond Trust Bank (Uganda) and Diamond Trust Bank (Kenya) argued that Kiggundu received a credit facility totalling over shs41b a few years ago and he still owes them about shs39b. In turn, Kiggundu accused the banks of fraudulently siphoning over shs200b from his accounts without his knowledge and consent over the past 10 years.
The banks add that as of January 21, 2020, Kiggundu was in default on payment obligations of $6.298m on the loan facility of $6.663m, as well as sh2.885b on the demand overdraft facility of sh1.5b and the temporary demand overdraft facility of sh1b.
They further claim that Kiggundu was in default on the payment of another $3.662m out of a total loan facility of $4m and another $458,604 on a loan facility of $500,000, as of January 21, 2020.
However, Kiggundu revealed that this was a financial fraud since the money was fraudulently withdrawn from both his dollar and shilling accounts were in excess of what the bank was demanding. “They said they had carried out an audit of my bank accounts and discovered that the money was siphoned off over a period of 10 years,” Kiggundu said.
He highlighted that a total of sh29.035b was unlawfully debited from his shilling account, while $22.93m was withdrawn from his dollar account under what he calls unclear debits. Kiggundu, who has been accessing loan facilities from the bank for over 10 years, issued a notice to the bank terminating his relationship and withdrawing the mortgage instruments.