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Court of Appeal halts Simbamanyo case

Simbamanyo building on Lumumba Avenue, which the bank auctioned to Meera Investments Limited last year. PHOTO/FILE

Simbamanyo building on Lumumba Avenue, which the bank auctioned to Meera Investments Limited last year. (PHOTO/File)

What you need to know:

Court documents show that Equity Bank, Luwaluwa Investments, and the law firm applied for orders to stop proceedings in the lower court and also the implementation of its orders.

Court records show that Simbamanyo Estates and Mr Kamya are embroiled in a protracted legal battle regarding the advertisement and sale of its properties—Simbamanyo Building on Lumumba Avenue and Afrique Suites on Mutungo Hill.

The Court of Appeal has temporarily halted proceedings in the case in which Simbamanyo Estates Limited is challenging the sale of mortgaged property by Equity Bank, pending the determination of the substantive application for stay of the same.

The court issued the express order stopping the Commercial Division of the High Court from proceeding in the protracted legal battle between Simbamanyo Estates and its managing director, Peter Kamya, against Equity Bank Limited, Luwaluwa Investments Limited as well as Katende, Ssempebwa, and Company Advocates.

Justice Cheborion Barishaki of the Court of Appeal ruled that the interim order sought by the applicants is necessary to preserve the status quo until the substantive application for stay of proceedings is heard and determined.

The court held that the orders being appealed have an impact on how the main suit will proceed.

The judge explained that the matters emanate from a case whose subject matter is highly valuable property.

Justice Barishaski also dismissed an objection raised by Simbamanyo lawyers regarding the competence of the application in which they vainly argued that the matter was not properly filed before the Appeal Court.

Background

Court documents show that Equity Bank, Luwaluwa Investments, and the law firm applied for orders to stop proceedings in the lower court and also the implementation of its orders.

The High Court issued an order for inspection of and taking certified copies of certain accounts in Equity Bank held by its managing director, Luwaluwa Investments plus Katende, Ssempebwa, and Company Advocates.

The intention is to reveal on oath email correspondences and an executed performance bank guarantee.

The court heard that—after being dissatisfied with the orders—the bank and others sought to appeal, which the trial judge declined. This prompted the parties to lodge a complaint with the chief inspector of courts and the court of appeal.

Court records show that Simbamanyo Estates and Mr Kamya are embroiled in a protracted legal battle regarding the advertisement and sale of its properties—Simbamanyo Building on Lumumba Avenue and Afrique Suites on Mutungo Hill.

The said multi-billion properties were sold to Meera Investments Limited and Luwaluwa Investments Limited in October 2020.

Latest on Simbamanyo Illegal & Fraudulent Sale Case: Justice Under Siege- Mafia Want Incorruptible Justice Stephen Mubiru Off The Case

The dishonest activities of Equity Bank, Meera Investments and Ronald Luwangula have finally started to catch up with them as they are now running around desperately, trying to use underhand methods to try and kill the case.

Following last week’s September 13 court adjournment of the Simbamanyo case after Sudhir, Equity Bank and Luwangula failed to fully comply with the August 9th Court Order, Justice Stephen Mubiru sent them back for another seven (7) days, within which to fully comply with the Order he issued in his August 9th ruling

Justice Mubiru’s Order directed Equity Bank and Sudhir to avail Court with Emails and documents exchanged between Equity Bank’s Lawyers of Katende & Co. Advocates and Sudhir’s lawyer Nelson Walusimbi, regarding the purported auction of Simbamanyo House and Afrique Suites Hotel.

Specifically, Justice Mubiru issued an Order for discovery of the following documents;
Certified copies of dollar account Statement operated by Katende Ssempebwa & Co. Advocates and Luwa Luwa with Equity bank, for the period 01. 08. 2020 to 30. 10. 2020.

However, when the matter for complying with the court order relating to the documents came up on Tuesday September 20, 2022 rather than obey the court order by producing the rest of the documents the lawyer of Equity Bank, Sim Katende instead surprised the court by pulling out of his hat of tricks a letter from the Inspector of courts which stated intealia:

Under sections 9 and 11 of the Administration of Justice act 2020 I am writing to immediately call for the entire file of HCCS No. 464 of 2021, Misc.

Applications No. 1130 of 2022 and all other Misc applications thereunder for our scrutiny as a matter of urgency.

What Are They Hiding: Equity Bank, Sudhir Run To Supreme Court To Suppress Key Evidence In Simbamanyo Case

In a bid to exhaust all the avenues of evidence and to seek justice in the matter before court, Simbamanyo filed Misc. Appl. No 0583 Of 2022, in which they stated that they are privy to information that there were bank transactions that occurred between 1st October 2020 and 8th October 2020 respectively, a week before the auction, on the Katende Ssempebwa dollar account with Equity Bank, that are relevant to the determination of issues arising in the underlying suit.

In their application, Simbamanyo further stated that there was correspondence between the bank, its lawyers and those of Meera Investments (the prospective purchasers) regarding a performance guarantee contract between Equity Bank and Meera Investments, wherein the bank guaranteed to sell the said properties to Meera Investments in exchange for wetting the beaks of Equity Bank top executive with a token of 1million dollars. And indeed, this money was paid into the Bank’s lawyers’ dollar account on 1st of October 2020.

Evidence contained in the said transactions will demonstrate that the sale of the Simbamanyo properties was done under collusion between the bank, its lawyers and the purchasers, to unfairly and unlawfully defeat the interests of the mortgagor, Simbamanyo.

However, Equity bank, LuwaLuwa Investments and Katende Sempeebwa, in their replies to court never denied being in possession of the said bank records; instead, they sought cover in a confidential privilege between lawyer and client, alluding to the fact that they had the documents but they were confidential.

The Simbamanyo lawyers argued therefore that the documents will show the unlawful, fraudulent and illegal dealings that preceded the purported auction that never was.

They demonstrate that the outcome of the sale was manipulated in advance and that which was purported to have been a public auction was just a sham.

In his ruling Hon. Justice Stephen stated that both categories of information sought to be discovered are material and relevant to the extent that the applicants intend to use their content to advance their already pleaded case, which is that the said transactions will demonstrate that the sale of the applicant’s mortgaged properties was done under a dishonest collusion between the bank, its lawyers and the purchaser to unfairly and unlawfully defeat the interests of the applicants.

The Hon. Judge went on further to observe in his ruling that the advocate-client privilege does not protect all manner of information and or communication between an advocate and his or her client as it only protects communications made in order to obtain legal advice and of a confidential nature.

Equity Bank was thus given 14 (fourteen) days within which to comply with the order.
However, in a bizarre twist and in order pervert the course of justice both Equity Bank and Sudhir have run to the Court of Appeal to overturn Justice Mubiru’s order in a bid to suppress the production of this key evidence.

It is feared that it may be possible to rescind this order in the court of Appeal where it is said Sudhir has extensive  influence, in which case this matter of the illegal and fraudulent sale of the Simbamanyo properties will be dead and buried the way the BOU case Vs Crane bank was killed, despite the overwhelming evidence that Sudhir looted his own bank of colossal sums of money, although  the supreme court  not only allowed him to get  away with it but exhumed his dead bank and handed it back  to him despite the vehement protestations of the regulator.

They also awarded him colossal sums of money which BOU through the Ministry of Finance is expected to fork out any time now.

After the devastating blow Equity Bank and Sudhir recently suffered in the Simbamanyo case, they have now resorted to legal Ping-Pong with the aim of killing the case.

The public which has been following this case with keen interest are wondering whether the supreme court will fall short of delivering justice again, just like they did in the BOU vs CRANE BANK CASE.

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