Officials from Bank of Uganda today failed to defend Shs 900 million that was paid to MMAKS Advocates as legal fees for advice in the sale of Crane Bank.
Appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) today, the officials were asked to provide terms of reference under which they offered MMAKS the deal.
They did not.
The law firm was paid Shs914, 272,722 for legal advice during the Crane Bank takeover.
They were promised a further Shs 3 billion as commission for monies recovered from Crane Bank shareholders.
Some MPs argued that the payments could have been inflated to benefit some officials at the central bank.
In particular, Justine Bagyenda was cited as a possible beneficiary but she read to the MPs a memo/document of November 30, 2016 requesting for payment of the lawyers without showing the work that was done.
Acting on this memo, on December 2016, Emmanuel Mutebile the governor of the central bank endorsed payment of US $51,000 (Shs 180 million) as part payment of the legal fees.
Abdu Katuntu, the chairman of COSASE said it was wrong for BoU not to have proper records on the particular transaction.
The probe continues tomorrow when BoU officials shall appear again this time accompanied with representatives of M/S J.N. Kirkland & Associates and Sil, the two firms that participated in the sale of assets of Greenland Bank, International Credit Bank and Cooperative Bank to Nile River Acquisition.