By Michael Odeng and Farooq Kasule
Former Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof Venansius Baryamureeba has told court to compel a couple to pay him his money.
Baryamureeba is demanding the former Kampala Woman MP Nabilah Naggayi and her husband Isaac Ssempala sh800m.
“I am not after the couple’s matrimonial home but my money. Only that I do not want the home to be sold to third parties before my money is paid,” he said.
This prompted the head Commercial Court, Justice Stephen Musota yesterday to halt the sale or mortgaging of the matrimonial home belonging to the couple, pending clearance of Baryamureeba’s sh800m debt. The title of the property will also be deposited in court.
“The property is reserved pending determination of this case. This will guarantee the property is not disposed of to third partiers,” Mubiru ordered.
The residential home of the couple is comprised in LRV 4004 Kyadondo Block 273 Plot5 Katuso Close in Kampala.
Prior to the ruling, Ssempala’s lawyer Muhammad Mbabazi had objected to disposition of the title in court, saying that it serves no purpose since the loan was obtained from Nabilah without the consent of her husband.
Baryamureeba told court that he extended two separate loans of sh400m to the couple for remodelling of their house but they have since failed to pay.
Sitting in the dock yesterday, Nabilah testified that in 2012, they received the money for remodelling their house in Buziga into three apartments for commercial purposes.
She, however, said out of sh800m borrowed from Baryamureeba, sh50m was paid to the bank which had threatened to attach their property over debt.
Court documents indicate that Ssempala has told his wife to borrow only sh50m from a friend to clear the bank loan but she instead obtained sh800m from the professor.
Nabilah was seen taking several bottles of water as she gave her testimony while staring at Baryamureeba on various occasions.
Testifying under the guidance of her lawyer Naboth Nehairwe, Nabillah revealed that they borrowed the money for among other purposes of relocating to America.
“Some of the money was paid to our lawyer to work on immigration protocols while the second loan of sh400m was used to procure a house in Canada because renting proved much more expensive than if we had bought our own house,” Nabilah said.
Asked by the judge on whether she got powers of attorney from her husband in regard to the transaction, Nabilah said he was aware of the loan and that he had promised to contribute after securing a job in America.
However, Nabilah contradicted herself when she told court that she had over sh700m which she sent to her husband to procure the house and that the money she got from Baryamureeba was used to finance her campaigns.
Because of her inconsistent statements, the Judge said he will rely on the provisions of the two agreements to determine the matter.
“The agreement seems not to be in conformity with your verbal testimony. If this court finds it contradictory, then it will rely on the agreement itself,” Mubiru said.
While Nabilah acknowledges the debt, she went mute when the judge suggested that a judgment be entered against her to save the court’s time on a matter in which she acknowledges liability.
The judge also wondered how the court will enforce the second loan since the transaction is outside its jurisdiction.
Baryamureeba also the former Makerere University vice-chancellor told court that he is willing to abandon the interest accrued if Nabilah is ready to pay back the money.
Nabilah borrowed the money from the former presidential candidate in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
The judge has adjourned the matter to November 17. Court heard that Nabilah has since obtained an order in Canada stopping her husband from utilising the house despite the fact that he had since mortgaged.
Court documents indicate that out of the sh800m loan secured between 2013 and 2015, Nabilah and her husband managed to pay back only sh50m.
This prompted Prof Baryamureeba to claim the property amid contention from Ssempala who alleged that the former and the legislator were conniving to steal his house since he knew nothing about the outstanding loan.
It is from this background that Ssempala went to court to seek help and to protect his property from the two.
In his petition, Ssempala wants the court to issue a temporary injunction restraining the Nabillah and Baryamureeba or their servants from entering the land.
Ssempala also seeks a declaration that he is the lawful owner of the property.
Ssempala also wants a declaration that his wife illegally and unlawfully pledged the title deed for the suit land to Baryamureeba as a security for the loan.