Client sues bank for defamation, gets 35million reward

KAMPALA

The High Court in Kampala has ordered Standard Chartered Bank to pay Shs 35,727,000 to a city businessman Johnson Akol Omunyokol following a suit he filed against the entity’s main branch at plot 5 Speke Road over false accusations, unlawful arrest, unlawful detention and defamation.
In a suit he filed against one of the bank managers Adealbcert Rutayire, the bank and the Attorney General of Uganda (defendants), Mr Akol(plaintiff) who had been the bank’s client since 1997 claimed that he was unlawfully arrested, detained, prosecuted and maligned on claims that he threatened to kill one of the bank staff, Ms Elizabeth Bulinda with whom they had intimate relation and blow up the bank with a bomb.

In his judgment, Justice Stephen Musota of the High Court said that the plaintiff (Mr Akol) filed the suit against the defendants for recovery of General damages, aggravated damages, exemplary damages and special damages for trespass, unlawful arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, defamation and wrongful interference with his right to be served and attended to by the bank as well as wrongful denial of access to the money received by his account in the bank, all amounting to Shs 35,727,000.
According to Mr Akol, prior to November 28, 2000, he arranged with Bankers in China to remit to him money through his foreign account with Standard Chartered Bank for which he wanted to obtain certification of his documents.
Subsequently, he on November 28, 2000 visited the bank and deposited the documents with one Vincent Mukama a servant or agent of Standard Chartered Bank attached to its International Division who aised him to go back and check for the results later in the afternoon.

However, when he went back for the documents, the branch manager ordered the security guards to unlawfully, wrongfully arrest and detain him on allegations that he was in illegal possession of a gun, even after they had searched his pocket and found nothing on him.
Thereafter, Mr Akol said he was dragged by the security guards to CPS, Kampala where he was unlawfully and wrongfully detained in police cells on allegations by Ms Bulinda and Rutayisire (both employees of the bank) that he threatened to kill her(Bulinda) and to blow up the bank with a bomb, which allegations he denied.

Consequently, he was detained for eight days and on December 5, 2000, police at CPS falsely and maliciously without reasonable and probable cause in bad faith charged him with the offence of threatening to kill Ms Bulinda.

jkigongo@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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