Former Supreme Court Judge Prof. George Wilson Kanyeihamba has lost his legal bid to recover the defunct Kigezi Bank of Commerce (KBC) after the Court of Appeal on Friday, 28th July ruled that his lawsuit was moot and academic.
Justice Kanyeihamba had on behalf of some 320 purported shareholders of KBC and on his own behalf sued Billionaire Amos Nzeyi, Former Prime Ministers Amama Mbabazi, and Ruhakana Rugunda, among others, with whom they founded the KBC; for allegedly selling the bank to the National Bank of Commerce (NBC) without proper authorization.
Court of Appeal Judges led by Justice Christopher Gashirabake agreed with the High Court Judgment penned by now Retired Justice David Wangututsi that Prof. Kanyeihamba was appealing; that the change of KBC into NBC was lawful having been conducted with the necessary corporate and regulatory approvals.
The Court of Appeal found that there was no sale of KBC to NBC as alleged by Justice Kanyeihamba but instead, KBC changed its name and the ‘business stayed where it was.’
The Court of Appeal Judges faulted Justice Kanyeihamba over a raft of procedural mistakes he committed in bringing the appeal before their Court including that the former Supreme Court Judge did not properly seek the authorization of the shareholders of KBC on whose behalf he was purporting to sue.
Kanyeihamba’s suit was also poorly drafted, the Judges said, as it did not disclose concisely the grounds on which he was appealing thereby violating legal procedures that demand litigants to be precise and thorough in indicating the exact errors committed by the lower Court they are challenging.
But most importantly, the Court of Appeal declined to give any orders Justice Kanyeihamba was seeking including that the Registrar of Companies be directed to re-register KBC after the Court found that that would be a moot or academic exercise because NBC the bank that allegedly bought KBC has itself been liquidated by the Bank of Uganda and therefore does not exist.
” Therefore, in the premises, it is unlikely that any finding by this Court, in this case, willCourt of Appeal Judge Christopher Gashirabake ruled.
have the effect of overturning the liquidation of NBC or the sale of the shares of its
shareholders in the liquidation proceedings so as to revert the company to Kigezi Bank
of Commerce. It is therefore impossible, in my opinion, to issue an order to the Registrar
of Companies to revert the status of the company to the position it would have been in if
the Respondents had not acted in any way. I find that traversing this aspect will be an
academic endeavor and the appeal is therefore affected by the doctrine of mootness.”
“Accordingly, this appeal fails and is hereby dismissed.”
Benjamin Ahikiiriza is a Legal Writer And Digital Communications & Marketing Specialist majoring in Lawyers, Law Firms And the larger Legal Sector.
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