KAMPALA, UGANDA: Centenary Bank Ltd has been dragged to court by a former Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldier over the alleged fraud of Sh15.86 million stolen from his account while he was away on national duty in Mogadishu, Somalia.
Through his lawyers Allan & Partners Advocates, Mr Charles Abelebele in a suit filed before Mengo Chief Magistrates Court in Kampala accuses the bank of fraud, negligence and breach of duty after unknown people withdrew Shs15.86m from his account through agent banking between February and July 2021.
“Particulars of fraudulent acts include permitting registration of the complainant’s account on agency banking without his knowledge, cashing out money from his account without his consent, and failure to account to the plaintiff over the said incidents,” the suit reads in part.
Mr. Abelebele says in the June 13 2022 suit says he was not registered for mobile banking and his attempts to seek an explanation from the bank were futile.
The ex-soldier who had retired from the UPDF in 2018 was recalled for a mission to Somalia under the UPDF reserve force on December 16, 2020 and returned on December 20, 2021.
Mr. Abelebele also attached to his suit a copy of a bank statement which indicates that between February 10 and July 2021, cash amounting to shs15.86m was withdrawn from his account.
On February 10, the bank statement indicates that Shs6 million was withdrawn from the account. On February 12, 25, 26 and 27, Shs1.8m, Shs2m, Shs2m and Shs2m were withdrawn from the account via an agent bank, respectively.
The lawyers therefore demand a court declaration that the acts of the bank to facilitate the withdraw of their client’s money through agent banking system was illegal and make a refund to him.
“The complainant seeks the court’s declaration that the bank’s acts leading to the cashing out of the complainant’s money to third parties in the said period accordingly were illegal and that a refund of Shs15,865,143 should be made to him,” the suit reads.
This website has also established that on June 16, the Mengo Chief Magistrate, Ms Dorcas Zako, asked the bank to file a defence over the suit.
However, in their defence filed through their lawyers of Muhumuza-Kiiza Advocates and Legal Consultants on July 7, the bank denied Mr Abelebele’s claims, saying the transactions were initiated from his mobile phone.
They also stated that Mr Abelebele validated the agency banking withdrawals using passwords that were sent directly to him for various transactions.
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