The Central Bank of Uganda has finally given up asked owners of the unclaimed certificates of land titles of former defunct banks to apply and reclaim them.
The unclaimed certificates of over 21 land titles were advertised on Wednesday August 5, 20220 by BoU after very many others were allegedly stolen by bank officials or went missing from the bank custody under unclear circumstances.
“Bank of Uganda therefore invites the registered proprietors of the above properties or successors in title to present proof of ownership of the certificates of titles to the Director of commercial banking to claim the said titles” Advertisement said.
The pressure to handover these titles came days after the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) investigation wrote to Governor bank of Uganda Prof.Emmanuel Tumusiime to handover Director Commercial banking Benedict Ssekabira for prosecution after being implicated in theft of some of the titles.
In a letter dated July 27, 2020, to the Governor Bank of Uganda, Criminal Investigations Directorate seeks permission from the governor to release Mr Sekabira so that he can be prosecuted. He was asked to appear on July 30. However we learnt that Mr. Sekabira didn’t report to police on the slated date but the governor has since released him from the bank.
“This is to inform you that the Director public Prosecution sanctioned the matter for the suspect to appear in Court and the purpose of this communication is to request you release Mr. Benedict Sekabira to report at CID headquarters on July 30, 2020, such that he can be produced in court for the charges of concealing titles deeds under sections 278 of the penal code” reads the letter to the governor.
It further adds “The Directorate has been investigating the above matter that arose from the Committee of Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) with directive to the Inspector General of police t immediately upon adoption of Special Audit Report on defunct banks seize all the land titles in possession of JN Kirkland and Associates and MS SIL Investment arising from the loan portfolio sold to Ms Nile River Acquisition Company BY bank of Uganda”
The MPs on the Parliamentary committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) probing banks then tasked Mr Sekabira, who became a controversial figure during the probe on the closure of seven banks, to prove that he had been properly appointed liquidator of the banks.
The location of the inventory reports on the closed banks became a source of controversy with Mr Sekabira who was the liquidator of the said banks indicating that he filed the said reports and submitted them to three former BoU officials including Justine Bagyenda, Margaret Matovu and Apollo Obo who were supposed to submit them to the governor.
It should be remembered that during the probe by John Muwanga the Auditor General (AG), bank of Uganda was tasked to account for 25 properties that went missing following the takeover of Global Trust Bank (GTB) in 2014.
BoU was also ordered to place caveats on all the lost titles to protect the properties and ensure that the titles are recovered.
In the draft BoU audit report, the AG said at the time of closure of GTB, BoU correspondents indicated that 25 certified titles which had been taken to GTB as security for loans were found to be missing.
The AG adds that Article 4.2 of the Purchase of Assets and Assumption of Liabilities Agreement required the liquidator (BoU) to preserve and safely keep all files, books of accounts and records.