Lawyers representing Kampala businessman Hamis Kiggundu have petitioned the Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo over alleged mismanagement of their client’s case file by the Principal Judge.
They are questioning why the Principal Judge Flavian Zeija called for their client’s file at time when the Diamond Trust Banks are seeking an interim order to stay orders he neither issued nor can stay in law.
In the petition copied to the Principal Judge, Head of Commercial Court division and Diamond Trust Banks lawyers, Kiggundu’s lawyers of Muwema and Company Advocates state that whereas the Principal Judge has administrative powers to call for any file, such powers cannot be misunderstood to extend to the exhibition of continuous interest in a particular file to the extent of calling for it and interfering with the hearing.
The lawyers contend that on a number of times the principal judge has called for their client’s file in circumstances is unjustified.
They add that it’s not right for Diamond Trust Bank who have notified their intention to appeal against the Commercial Court decision that ordered them to pay over 120 billion shillings to Kiggundu to sidestep the available appeal process and abuse the due process through the office of the principal judge.
Now they want the Chief Justice to urgently intervene and issue orders directing for proper management of their client’s file.
Yesterday the Principal Judge Dr Flavian Zeija issued an interim order stopping businessman Ham Kiggundu from implementing commercial Court’s decision that directed Diamond Trust Bank Uganda and Kenya to refund 120 billion shillings him.
The interim order which is to stay in place pending determination of the Banks’ main application for stay of the execution of the commercial Court’s decision, was issued in absence of Kiggundu’s lawyers.
The principal judge’s decision followed successful arguments by the banks through their lawyer Kiryowa Kiwanuka and Sebuufu Usaama that they will suffer irreparable damages once implementation of Commercial Court’s decision is not halted.
The decision comes a few days after two banks through their lawyers of K and K Advocates filed a notice of appeal saying that they are not satisfied with the entire decision Justice Henry Peter Adonyo and thus intend to challenge the whole of it in the Court of Appeal.