BoU’s Untouchable Sekabira Snubs Police Summons!

Wanted Bank of Uganda’s director, Benedict Sekabira has snubbed the Police CID summons for questioning in connection with fraud.

Sekabira on Monday snubbed police for the second time. He was expected to appear at the Kibuli based CID headquarters on Friday last week but he sent lawyers who reported him to be unwell.

He had promised to appear at the Police today Monday but he again did not turn up.

Sekabira is being investigated by the Police Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) for alleged fraudulent acts in regard to land titles belonging to clients of closed banks.

Charles Twine who speaks for the CID at Kibuli said that they summoned Sekabira two weeks ago but he did not turn up.

“It is about two weeks ago that we called him and he never turned up. We are considering calling him again,” Twine said.

Sekabira, the central bank director for Financial Markets Development Benedict is being probed jointly with former deputy governor Dr Louis Kasenkende and Justine Bagyenda (former director of Commercial Bank).

On July 27, the Police directorate said that Sekabira is being investigated over a case which arose from the Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE)  with directives to Inspector General of Police to immediately upon adoption of the Special Audit report.

In a July 7 letter, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) directed the Police CID to record statements of Dr Kasekende and Bagyenda. The DPP said that the evidence on record has revealed that the two persons were involved in the scam.

“Record a statement from the proprietor of SIL investment Limited in respect to its association with Octavian Advisors, Kirkland Associates, Ben Sekabira and other Bank of Uganda employees.  Obtain a Bank statement printout at Barclays Bank belonging to SIL Investment Limited. We need to establish its business partners from this statement,” reads the letter signed by State Attorney, Andrew Odiit for the DPP.

The DPP also directed the Police to obtain and retrieve all documents detailing all transactions between Nile River Acquisition Limited and SIL investments Limited and all certified copies of certificates of title complained of as of now from the Commissioner Land Registration with the aim of establishing the current position of the said titles.

“Obtain a court order to search and seize all relevant documents and computers from offices and or homes of the suspects for any further useful pieces of evidence since they have refused to cooperate,” reads the DPP letter.

According to the DPP letter, the Auditor General should be asked to carry out a specific a specific forensic audit to establish whether or not the continued charging of interest on loans when the banks are in liquidation is irregular since banking business stops at the time of closure.

“…the where about of the benefits of the employees of the defunct commercial banks, whether or not there was a financial loss and if so who caused it. Provide a list of loan portfolios demanded by Bank of Uganda from respective borrowers at the defunct commercial banks in its capacity as the liquidator before Nile River Acquisition Limited took over,” DPP demanded.

“You are therefore directed to ensure that you prepare a charge sheet ready for court in respect to the offence of concealing a title deed. There ought to be a count for each of the title deeds we currently have and from the complainants so far,” the DPP said.

According to the DPP letter, “the probable suspects include Kakembo Katende and all his associates under his Kirkland Associates, Nanyinga Evelyn and all her co-directors in SIL Investments and the coordinators of the defunct commercial banks in liquidation; Sekabira together with Polly K. Ndyarugahi his co-coordinator. Have all the suspects arrested and arraigned in court.”

Complainants in the matter, Nelson Habasa and Sam Kakuru have asked the government agencies to speed up the investigations for the affected persons to recover their property and get justice.

“We lost business and property and that is why we and on behalf of our fellow Ugandans came up as guided by Article 25 of the Constitution to file this case in order to have the culprits in this matter punished,” Habasa told journalists.

The Special Audit Report on defunct Banks seized all the land titles in possession of JN Kirkland and Associates and Ms SIL Investment resulting from loan portfolio sold to Ms Nile River Acquisition Company by Bank of Uganda.

Auditor General

A report by the Auditor General earlier revealed that Bank of Uganda did not follow the lawful procedures in the closure of Crane Bank and six other commercial banks.

It is alleged that the former BOU top officials conspired with the mysterious Nile River Acquisition Company as the company bought off secured debts of International Credit Bank (ICB), Greenland Bank, Cooperative Bank at Shs8.89 billion representing a 26 percent discount of the total secured loans.

Cosase report

In February 2019, the Parliamentary Committee (COSASE) presented its report on closure of seven banks in which the Bank of Uganda management was found largely culpable for breaching the law in closing the banks.

According to the parliamentary committee report findings, some of the breaches included closing and selling the banks on same day as was the case of the National Bank of Commerce.

There were also cases of appointment of auditors after the sale and failure to compile inventory reports which meant that BOU was clueless about the value of the institutions that it had sold.

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