UNTRACEABLE: BoU Fails To Locate Law Firm They Consulted When Selling Banks

Bank of Uganda officials have told Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) that they cannot trace the offices or address of Kirkland Associates, a law firm that they hired for consultancy services during the process of selling seven defunct banks, reports Business Focus, an online publication.

It is reported that Kirkland & Associates recommended a consultancy firm, Octavian Advisors, that incorporated Nile River Acquisition Company. Nile River Acquisition, a now defunct offshore company registered in Mauritius, surfaced as the company to which Bank of Uganda sold assets of closed banks at 93 per cent discount.

“Nile River Acquisition then appointed Sil Investments, as an agent to recover the bad loans. It is interesting to know that Sil Investments was only incorporated in Uganda, only a month before Nile River Acquisition bought the loans from BoU,” a source said.

“They (JN Kirkland) issued all legal instructions to lawyers who led the recovery process.  So certainly Kirunda was a beneficiary from this whole process and was and is in bed with BoU, especially Sekabira, who led the liquidation process.” The source added.

The selling of the loans to Nile River Acquisition Company has become a particular source of interest because the firm was incorporated in Mauritius on September 26, 2007 as a global business, the same year BoU officials sold the assets of the three banks. Paperwork to indicate it was ever registered in Uganda are nonexistent.

COSASE is investigating manner in which Bank of Uganda has been selling and closing banks since 1993. In this period seven banks have been affected and their demise is now being investigated by parliament. The affected banks include Teefe Bank, International Credit Bank Ltd, Greenland Bank, The Co-operative Bank, National Bank of Commerce, Global Trust Bank and Crane Bank Ltd (CBL).

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