The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah has stopped parliament from investigating Bank of Uganda and the circumstances leading to the closure of Crane Bank Limited.
Oulanyah decided on Tuesday, against a motion that was tabled on the floor of the House last week by Budadiri East MP Nandala Mafabi urging Parliament to set up a select committee to look into possible failure by the Central Bank to supervise the operations of Crane Bank.
He said after the motion was tabled, he received two letters on Friday; one from Bank of Uganda and the other from its lawyers of MMAKS Advocates.
The speaker said the letter from MMAKS, in its conclusion asked him to exercise his powers to make a ruling that the matter raised by the motion in relation to MMAKS Advocates should be expunged on the basis of being subjudice.
MP Mafabi in his motion raised concerns among others that the law firm, now representing BoU had previously represented Crane Bank in other cases, which showed conflict of interest.
The firm however wants parliament to let this be determined by the Law Council.
On the other hand, Bank of Uganda in their letter argued that the question of its alleged mismanagement of Crane Bank or any of its officers is a High Court matter of civil suit No. 362 of 2017: Derrick Nsereko Vs Bank of Uganda.
“The question as to whether Crane Bank Limited was mismanaged, the responsibility thereof and culpability of its principle shareholder, Sudhir Ruparelia is also a subject of High Court Civil suit No. 493 of 2017,” read the letter in part.
Speaker Oulanyah also received a letter from Hon. Anite Among, the Vice Chairperson of the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authority and State Enterprise (COSASE) who informed him that this matter is being handled by the committee.
After analyzing the subjudice rule, Oulanyah ruled stopping any committee including COSASE from investigating Bank of Uganda.
“I rule that the proposed Parliamentary investigations into the affairs, circumstances and culpability of Bank of Uganda and all individuals in the management and closure of Crane Bank could be subjudice. Let us keep monitoring the progress of the matters before Court and if necessary, review the matter.”
Oulanyah noted that the motion shall remain on the order of business of the house and as soon as Parliament notices any gaps that should be investigated, then they can proceed with the investigation.