Taxpayers could fork out more than 120 billion in legal costs following the commercial court decision to throw out a case in which Bank of Uganda/Crane Bank (in receivership) had sued tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia seeking to recover Shs 397 billion.
The case was dismissed on technical reasons after Justice David Wangutusi ruled that Crane Bank (in receivership) did not have legal basis to sue. Court also ordered Bank of Uganda to pay legal costs.
Now Sudhir and his legal team have started compiling costs and it is estimated that the figure could come to Shs 120 billion.
Since Shs 397 billion was under contestation, Sudhir is set to claim at least 5% as legal fees amounting to Shs19.85 billion while another 5% will go Meera Investments Limited translating into Shs19.85 billion.
This totals to Shs 39.7 billion.
Since Bank of Uganda has already indicated that it will appeal the ruling, the legal costs will go higher in the event that they lose. Legal sources said the figure could shoot to at least 120 billion since percentages at the court of appeal are higher. This money will be met the tax payer.
2019 has not been a good year for Bank of Uganda. Two reports, one from COSASE and another from a team appointed by the president recommended changes in the operation of the central bank.
Then the bank got embroiled in the currency saga where some of its staff were arrested.
This week, the bank suffered legal defeat in court.