By Max Patrick Ocaido
Parliament: Lawyer Timothy Masembe of MMAKS Advocates has been summoned to appear before COSASE at 2pm today (Tuesday).
This is after Masembe who pocketed Shs900m in the controversial sale of Crane Bank (CBL) to Dfcu snubbed the parliamentary committee this morning. Masembe was a no show at the committee where his MMAKS Advocates was appearing. He was represented by other lawyers who were kicked out of the meeting for failing to present crucial documents regarding the sale of Crane Bank.
COSASE’s Abdu Katuntu ordered them to return at 2pm with all supporting documents and also summoned lawyer Masembe to appear in person.
Masembe's MMAKS Advocates were paid Shs914, 272,722 for legal advice during CBL intervention, resolution and advice on the sale of CBL assets and assumption of liabilities.
The firm would further be paid extra Shs3 billion as 5% commission monies recovered from CBL shareholders. The MPs contend those payments were exaggerated to benefit some BoU senior staff involved in the sale of CBL.
Late last year, Bank of Uganda officials led by Governor Emmanuel Mutebile failed to account for shs 900m which they paid to MMAKS advocates for external legal advice in the sale of Crane Bank.
The former director of Bank supervision at BoU Justine Bagyenda failed to convince the legislators on the business MMAKS did with BoU as some records were missing.
Bagyenda read to the MPs a memo/document of November 30, 2016 requesting for payment of the lawyers without showing the work that was done. BoU governor would on December 12, endorse and approve the request for payment of over US$51000 dollars as part of their total fee.
The law firm was hired after On October 28, 2016, BOU engaged PWC to carry out a forensic review of Crane Bank Limited (CBL) focusing on a 48 month period before statutory management which was completed on January 13, 2017.
On November 28, 2016, BOU engaged MMAKS Advocates to provide transaction advice to take over CBL and the firm would on December 9, 2016, on behalf of BoU, invite 13 bidders to bid for the purchase of assets and assumption of liabilities of CBL. Between 12th and 15th December 2016, BOU issued the Inventory report to 6 bidders after signing a confidential agreement for them to undertake due diligence on the assets and liabilities of CBL. Subsequently on 20th December 20, 2016, two bids were received and evaluated.