UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Kampala businessman Hamis Kiggundu made headlines on Thursday morning 8th June 2023 as he stormed out of the Supreme Court premises, expressing his discontent with the judge’s decision not to allow him to file another application in his ongoing suit against Diamond Trust Bank (DTB).
The chaotic scene unfolded during a pretrial hearing before Justice Elizabeth Musoke, where Kiggundu and his lawyers, led by Mr Fred Muwema, were informed that the judgment in the case would be ready on June 13, 2023.
However, Kiggundu insisted that he still had an application to submit.
Muwema on behalf of Kiggundu argued that DTB had introduced new grounds during the appeal process and that their application sought judgment based on the admission that DTB operated without the required license, leading to the fraudulent withdrawal of funds from Kiggundu’s bank accounts.
On the other hand, DTB lawyers, led by Edwin Karugire, contended that the application was irrelevant since the main appeal had already been heard in November 2021.
Karugire explained that a panel, comprising Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny Dollo, Faith Mwondha, Percy Night Tuhaise, Mike Chibita, and the late Opio Aweri, had reviewed the case.
Following Aweri’s passing, a new panel, including Justice Stephen Musota, was formed.
Karugire emphasised that Kiggundu’s lawyers had no additional contributions to make during the submission process.
In response, Muwema stated that the hearing was meant for administrative matters and argued that DTB’s submissions revealed admissions of illegal operations without a license and raised new grounds.
Muwema revealed that they had written to the court on May 2nd, 2023, demanding a hearing of their application and entry of judgment on admission.
However, they were informed that their concerns would only be entertained regarding the new panel.
While the Supreme Court Registrar had assured them of a new hearing date, their attempts to follow up had been unsuccessful.
Karugire expressed surprise at Kiggundu’s lawyers’ lack of knowledge regarding the Registrar’s letter, emphasising that they should have been served as parties to the case.
Justice Musoke clarified that she was not part of the panel but had been informed that the judgment in the main appeal was ready and would be delivered on Tuesday, June 13th, 2023.
She advised Muwema to await the judgment, as the points raised in the application might be addressed therein.
However, this response did not satisfy Muwema and Kiggundu, leading them to storm out of the court premises, accompanied by their supporters carrying placards.
Outside the court, Kiggundu made allegations claiming that Karugire was leveraging his relationship with President Museveni to influence the court’s decisions.
However, legal experts have accused Kiggundu of resorting to blackmail and protests as a means to garner public sympathy after realising that the case was not in his favour.
Following the commotion, Kiggundu returned and interrupted Justice Musoke as she addressed Muwema about controlling his client’s behaviour. Muwema denied the accusation that his client had brought hooligans into court.
The records presented during the hearing indicated that Kiggundu had obtained loans totalling over USh120 billion from DTB Uganda and DTB Kenya between 2011 and 2016 for his real estate business.
However, DTB claimed that Kiggundu had failed to fulfil his loan obligations, amounting to USh39 billion, as per the agreed terms, and 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.
Justice Henry Adonyo had previously ruled against the bank and ordered them to refund the money, along with an 8% interest rate and the costs of the suit.
DTB then appealed to the Court of Appeal, which subsequently overturned Judge Adonyo’s order and called for a retrial before a different judge.
Dissatisfied with this decision, Kiggundu appealed to the Supreme Court.
Despite the dramatic events that unfolded during the pretrial hearing, the legal battle between Hamis Kiggundu and DTB continues to unfold, leaving both parties awaiting the forthcoming judgment from the Supreme Court.
READ MORE LIKE THIS: