Why Court Directed DFCU to Pay Sudhir UGX2.4 Billion, Return All His Properties

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A declaration that there are no valid leases in respect of the properties. The said leases are therefore declared to be invalid and absolutely determined on account of breach and illegality. A declaration that the occupation and continued utilization of the suit properties by the first defendant constitutes trespass.

That was the October 24 ruling of Justice Tadeo Asiimwe who ordered DFCU bank to vacate 48 leasehold properties belonging to the defunct Crane Bank Limited. The court also slapped Dfcu Bank UGX2.4 billion in damages with 8% interest per year for trespassing on the properties of Crane Bank.

In the ruling, Justice Tadeo Asiimwe – also ordered the commissioner of Land registration to immediately cancel 48 leases, lease variations and extensions registered as encumbrances on the mailo and freehold titles belonging to Crane Bank.

The second defendant (commissioner Land registration) is hereby ordered to cancel the registration of the first defendant as proprietor of the leasehold interests in respect of all the suit properties.”

Asiimwe also issued a permanent injunction restraining DFCU, its agents and staff from trespassing on the Crane Bank properties.

A declaration that the plaintiff as the registered proprietor of the freehold/mailo interest in the suit properties, is entitled to vacant possession of the properties within three months from the judgement date.”

Since Crane Bank is defunct, the court ordered that DFCU pay the costs of the suit to Meera Investment Limited the mother company of Crane Bank Limited that instituted the suit on behalf of its child company, Crane Bank.

The court declared Meera Investment Limited as the registered proprietor of the freehold/mailo interests in the properties.

The court gave DFCU three months to vacate the premises.

The central bank closed Crane Bank Limited in October 2016 claiming it was undercapitalized, after it allegedly failed to comply with a capital call on July 1 and some of its assets were sold to dfcu bank.

There were assets that remained in the hands of the Bank of Uganda and were supposed to be disposed of during the liquidation process. BoU subsequently placed CBL under receivership on January 12 2017 in the exercise of its powers under section 99 (1,2) of the Financial Institutions Act 2004.

The supreme court however after deliberations that ran for four years, ruled that Crane Bank should revert to Sudhir and asked BoU to pay costs.

The 48 properties are located in different towns including Kampala, Kasese, Masaka, Samia Bugwe, Busia, Masindi, Gulu, Malaba, Entebbe, Kabale, Hoima, Soroti, Mukono, Ibanda, Arua, Fort Portal, among others.

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