By Spy Uganda
Kampala: The long-awaited judgement in the famous 120 billion shillings fraud case between tycoon Hamis Kiggundu of Ham Enterprises Ltd and Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) came to an end today with DTB on loser’s side.
This, after Commercial Court Judge Peter Adonyo declared Ham as the winner and ordered DTB to pay him Shs120 billion and interest of 8% (shs9.6 billion) as penalities, for fetching money from his accounts fraudulently.
According to court documents, Kiggundu provided security/mortgage comprised in Plot no.923, Block 9 located at Makerere Hill Road to support the credit facilities he had got from DTB but the businessman says when he carried out an audit and reconciliation of the loan accounts, he found out that the DTB had taken shs34 billion and $23 million from his account.
Finally, the Judge today agreed that because DTB Kenya is not licensed to carry out financial services in Uganda, it was wrong to carry out any business with Hamis Kiggundu and that it was wrong for the bank to use their counterparts of DTB Uganda to help them enforce the loan agreement in Uganda.
These come after City tycoon, Hamis Kiggundu last month asked the Court to throw out the defence evidence that had been presented by DTB.
Through his lawyers of Muwema & Co Advocates & Solicitors, Ham said, “The defences are based on illegal transactions including the loan agreements which were made in Kenya lending in Uganda. DTB Uganda facilitated illegality by allowing DTB Kenya to break the law in Uganda.”
The lawyer asked the court to dismiss the evidence by DTB Uganda for helping another bank carry out illegality which court today fulfiled and closed the hearing as last month counsel Muwema had urged that if their application is successful on October 5, 2020 [today] ruling by the Judge Henry Peter Adonyo, there will not be a need for any further hearing of the case.
However, DTB lawyers have vowed to petition in a bid to challenge the judgement saying it sets a risky precedent for Uganda’s banking industry something that can perish the already staggering economy.
Background Of The Case.
Diamond Trust Bank (Uganda) and Diamond Trust Bank (Kenya) has been arguing 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.