Businessman Sudhir Ruparelia's lawyers have hit back at what they called "inaccuracies and false statements" by the Bank of Uganda who expressed dissatisfaction over the Court of Appeal's decision to dismiss the case filed by Crane Bank (in receivership) against Ruparelia and Meera Investments Ltd seeking to recover over sh397b.
On Tuesday, Bank of Uganda (BoU) said it would take the fight against Ruparelia and Meera Investments Limited to the Supreme Court after losing at the High Court and the Court of Appeal. The court case was initially thrown out after Justice David Wangutsi ruled that by the time of filing the case, Crane Bank was non-existent and could not sue anyone.
In a statement issued on Friday, Kampala Associated Advocates gave a point-by-point response to a statement circulated by the Central Bank saying it contained many inaccuracies and false statements.
"Bank of Uganda makes false allegations that taxpayers' money was used to settle Crane Bank's depositors. This statement is used several times in the press statement but it is not part of the case Bank of Uganda filed. It is an allegation designed to sway public opinion and has nothing to do with the case," the lawyers said in the statement.
"Independent inquiries conducted by both the Auditor General and the Parliament of Uganda (COCASE Committee) have all reported that there was no evidence to support Bank of Uganda's claims that taxpayers money was allegedly spent on paying depositors."
The lawyers also refuted claims that Sudhir Ruparelia owned 100 percent of Crane Bank saying that all the shareholders of the bank had been vetted and approved by Bank of Uganda as per the Financial Institutions Act.
"The allegation that Dr. Ruparelia owned 100 percent of Crane Bank s false. All shareholders were vetted and approved by Bank of Uganda in accordance with the Financial Institutions Act," the statement read in part.
Ruparelia said dismissed claims by Bank of Uganda that he took US$92m from Crane Bank saying the bank had been subjected to numerous annual, quarterly, and special audits and all its financial statements approved every year by the Central Bank without reservations of any kind.
Crane Bank Limited was closed by Bank of Uganda on October 20, 2016, after it failed to comply with a capital call on July 1, 2016. BOU Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile said then that the bank's takeover was guided by the systemic nature of its undercapitalisation to avoid financial sector instability.