KAMPALA: City businessman Sudhir Ruparelia and Bank of Uganda have up to April, 2019 to settle the Crane Bank case outside court.
While appearing before Commercial Court in Kampala on Wednesday, both parties asked Justice David Wangutusi for more time to enable them conclude their negotiations.
Justice Wangutusi accepted their request and adjourned the case to April 3 for the Central Bank and Sudhir to return with the progress on their talks.
In 2017, Bank of Uganda sued the property mogul and his Meera Investments Company accusing him siphoning over Shs400 billion from his defunct Crane Bank.
Sudhir has since denied the allegations and wants court to dismiss the case. He also went ahead to counter sue BoU seeking compensation of Shs28 billion in damages for alleged breach of contract.
BoU took over Crane Bank in 2016 and sold it to dfcu Bank in January 2017 citing undercapitalisation.
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) is currently investigating top Central Bank officials over their role in the alleged irregular closure and sale of seven commercial banks including Crane Bank between 1993 and 2017.
The committee is relying on a 2017 forensic report by the Auditor General (AG) John Muwanga.
In his report, the AG said the Purchase of Assets and Assumption of Liabilities (P&A) deal BoU officials signed with dfcu on January 25, 2017 for the purchase of Crane Bank didn’t follow the right procedures.
“I was not provided with the negotiation minutes leading to the P&A agreement. In the absence of the minutes, I could not determine how BoU selected the best evaluated bidder and how the terms in P& A were determined,” the report adds.
When it came to the valuation of assets and liabilities of Crane Bank before the dfcu takeover of the bank at Sh200 billion, the AG said, “On April 10, 2018, I requested for P&A agreement, including details of the assets and liabilities transferred after taking into account the requisite valuation. I noted that BoU did not carry out a valuation of the assets and liabilities of CBL. In the absence of the valuation, I could not establish how the terms for the transfer of assets and liabilities in the P&A were determined.”