By our reporter     

Bank of Uganda has acquired new lawyers; Sebalu Lule and Co. Advocates to represent them in a case against city businessman Sudhir Ruparelia whom they accuse of siphoning Shs400 billion from the now defunct Crane Bank.

The new law firm will take over the case on behalf of BoU after Sudhir said the central bank’s lawyers – Timothy Masembe Kanyerezi of MMAKS Advocates and David Mpanga from FK Mpanga and Company Advocates had a conflict of interest.

Sudhir argued the two counsels previously represented Crane Bank which was then under him, and should be dismissed on the grounds conflict of interest.

Yesterday, both parties had a court date with Justice Yorokamu Bamwine who has taken over as the case’s mediator and Sudhir was in company of his son Rajiv and lawyer Peter Kabatsi of Kampala Associated Advocates. BoU was represented by Justine Bagyenda the Director for Supervision and the common figures in the case, Timothy Kanyerezi Masembe of MMAKs and David Mpanga of AF Mpanga Advocates were conspicuously absent.

The case took an interesting twist when the Ruparelia Group chairman who pled that BoU had no case because of breach of a Confidential Release and Settlement Agreement also counter-sued BoU for Shs600bn over recoverable debts the central bank wrote off before handing over the bank to Dfcu.

This development comes at a time when Sudhir and BoU are expected to commence mediation process to resolve their issues as directed by court.