HAM VS DTB CASE: DTB ADMITS TO COMMITTING ILLEGALITIES, HAM FILES AND AWAITS JUDGEMENT ON ADMISSIONS IN THEIR SUBMISSIONS. The back-and-forth legal battle between businessman Hamis Kiggundu and Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) could be headed for a crucial phase when the Supreme court convenes to hear the critical matter of illegality in the dealings between the two.
Popularly known as Ham, Kiggundu, through his companies Ham Enterprises and Kiggs International, sued DTB-Uganda and DTB-Kenya for fraudulently debiting his account while he was servicing a loan with them.
At High court, Justice Peter Adonyo ruled in Kiggundu’s favour on grounds that DTB-Kenya illegally conducted financial institutions business in Uganda contrary to the provisions of the Financial Institutions Act (FIA). He also ordered the banks to refund Kiggundu’s Shs 120bn.
At High court, DTB had admitted that they didn’t have a licence because they did not need one, which was contrary to the FIA.
However, the Court of Appeal overturned the decision and ordered for a retrial because DTB was not given a fair hearing.
Secondly, DTB’s other ground of appeal was that they didn’t commit an illegality as procedurally judgement was entered at High court. According to Kiggundu, this is a ground that had to be substantially addressed by the Court of Appeal.
So, Kiggundu decided to appeal to the Supreme Court to, among others, address the ground that the illegality was never addressed. After a pre-hearing session on October 27, both parties were directed to file written submissions.
In their submissions, whereas Kiggundu faults the Court of Appeal for failing to address the pertinent issue of illegality that Justice Adonyo relied on, DTB insists that the court was entitled to first deal with the grounds regarding the procedure adopted by Justice Adonyo in striking out their pleadings.
“Having dealt with procedural grounds which disposed of the appeal, the learned justices had no duty to delve into the rest of the grounds which were at that point moot,” states DTB in its submission.
It is from this premise that Kiggundu insists DTB impliedly admitted to have committed an illegality. On November 23, Kiggundu filed a notice of motion to the Supreme court seeking judgment on grounds of DTB’s admission for committing an illegality during their transactions.
In his affidavit, Kiggundu insists the bank also admitted that the substantial question of illegality was not dealt with by the Court of Appeal.
The Supreme court will soon deliver its judgment from the submissions but in the meantime, it may have to address illegality in regard to Ham’s claim of Shs 120bn unlawfully debited by the bank from his accounts.