Following yesterday’s court ruling in favour of Hamis Kiggundu against Diamond Trust Bank in the famous 120 billion shillings fraud case, DTB says is not going to give up rather push matters to the court of appeal challenging Commercial Court Judge Peter Adonyo’s ruling.
In court yesterday, judge 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.
Now in protest against Adonyo’s ruling, DTB has released an appeal notice reading thus;
“Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) has noted with concern the judgement on October 7, 2020, by the High Court in the case between the Bank and Ham Enterprises Limited.
DTB, in consultation with its legal advisers, has filed a notice of appeal against the judgement of Justice Henry Peter Adonyo.
We look forward to the expeditious resolution of the matter in the Court of Appeal and are confident that the case will be determined on its merits.
We wish to assure all our stakeholders that we remain in good standing and our operations continue uninterrupted.”
The dispute arises from a loan facility that the businessman acquired from the regional bank. Apparently, in an effort to recover their loan money, DTB bank irregularly, illegally and fraudulently took Kiggundu’s money amounting to Shs120bn.
Efforts by Kiggundu to have the money refunded were futile rendering the businessman with no other option but to go to the courts of law. And indeed, in January, Kiggundu went to court to seek redress. Kiggundu said the debiting happened over a period of 10 years.
Meanwhile, Diamond Trust Bank (Uganda) and Diamond Trust Bank (Kenya) argue that Kiggundu received a credit facility totalling over shs41b a few years ago and he still owes them about shs39b.
However, in his ruling Justice Henry Peter Adonyo agreed with Kiggundu lawyers of Muwema & Co. Advocates 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.
The judge described the appointment of agents as “illegal, unethical and breach of trust,” hence directing that Shs120bn should be refunded with an interest of 8% (Shs9.6bn) for carrying out illegalities on Kiggundu’s accounts.
Financial sector pundits say the case between Ham Enterprises and DTB is a very positive success towards eliminating the rampant exploitation of Ugandans by Banks through illegal activities.
However, DTB lawyers in their bid to appeal say that Adonyo’s judgement sets a risky precedent for Uganda’s banking industry something that can perish the already staggering economy.