Ugandan Businessman Hamis Kiggundu has through his lawyers led by Fred Muwema has filed an application before the Supreme Court seeking to arrest an impending judgment in his loan case against Diamond Trust Bank.
Early this week, there was drama at the Supreme Court as Kiggundu protested against what he termed as unfairness when Lady Justice Elizabeth Musoke who was handling the pre-trial of the case told the parties that there was no need for to hear an application earlier filed by Kiggundu.
The judge said whereas the parties were invited for a pre-trial, it was untenable since the court had heard the case and only awaits judgement that she said would be delivered on June, 13, 2023.This angered Kiggundu who accused the judiciary of being unfair.
In his latest application, the businessman says when the appeal was heard by the Supreme Court in November, 2021 and parties directed to file written submissions and judgement set to be delivered on notice, his lawyers realized that DTB had admitted, they filed an application seeking orders for judgement on admission.
The businessman says that despite numerous requests to be heard, the court didn’t list the application for hearing until April 28 ,2023 when they were invited for a session of reconstitution of the panel on May, 5.
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“Upon receipt of the above invitation, the applicant through his lawyers wrote a letter on May, 2, 2023 requesting for the fixing and hearing of the earlier application but the court advised that the hearing of the said application would be communicated at a later date,”Ham says through his lawyers led by Fred Muwema.
The businessman says the court later introduced a new panel to sit in the judgement of the appeal since one of the panelists, Justice, Ruby Apio Aweri had passed on and the new panel consists of the Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny Dollo, Justice Faith Mwondha, Justice Percy Tuhaise, Justice Mike Chibita and Justice Stephen Musota.
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He argues that it was unfair for both parties to be invited for a pre-hearing last week and Justice Elizabeth Musoke informed them she had orders from the head of the panel(Chief Justice) that the judgement in the case would be ready by June 13 and that his application was neither heard, allowed or dismissed.
“It is a grave injustice for the Supreme Court which is the highest court in Uganda to permanently lock the applicants out of an opportunity to be heard on such a novel and complex commercial dispute well knowing that is decisions are final, binding and not appealable,” Kiggundu says.
The businessman also says his team has got new evidence which would be crucial in determination of the case that he says court should allow him file before the judgement is delivered.
“In the meantime, the applicants recently discovered through Edwin Lubanga that the central Bank of Kenya did not grant the requisite approval under the law to the second respondent(DTB Kenya) to enter into the disputed credit transaction which is the subject of this appeal,” Kiggundu says.
He argues that this information was not known by the time of filing and hearing of the appeal in 2021 which he says is very relevant to the substantial question of the illegal conduct of cross border financial institution business by DTB which he says is the subject of the appeal.
“The said information and evidence are not only credible but also capable of having an influence on the decision or result of the appeal.”
Kiggundu says it is only prudent that the new evidence is allowed by the Supreme Court since it is in the interest of justice, fairness and equity.
“There is no inordinate delay in filling this application which is very urgent in light of the impending judgement to be delivered in the appeal.”