Haruna Sentongo: Fraud Allegations Exposed His Face (Latest Update 2023)
The Commercial Division of the High Court has ordered Haruna Sentongo to repay Orient Bank US $ 10.38 billion in mortgages.
Justice Richard Wejuli Wabwire also awarded Orient USh150 million in damages and 22% interest from the default date till Sentongo pays the payment in his decision on December 23, 2022.
Haruna Sentongo and Orient Bank sued each other in 2018 and 2019 over loan facilities issued to Sentongo in 2015 to pay for the construction and completion of Nakayiza Mall and another credit facility to finance garment importation.
However, the court ordered that the two applications be merged to resolve the issues immediately.
Why Was Haruna Sentongo Ordered To Repay Orient Bank Shs10.3b?
According to court documents, Haruna Sentongo accused Orient of extortion, duress, undue influence, dishonesty, and other offenses for illegally contracting him into credit facilities with inaccurate and unfair terms and conditions to enrich itself at his expense.
Sentongo’s lawyer Arnold Kimara said, “The conduct performance exposed him to excessive loss of income, the risk of exposure, psychological torture, and mental anguish.
As a result, Sentongo asked for multiple remedies, including USh500 million in damages for lost business and rental income from February 2016 to the present, as well as the dismissal of Orient’s claims.
What is the definition of fraud as a crime?
Fraud is punishable by jail or a fine. A fraud conviction could result in a sentence of up to three years in jail. The maximum prison term for a more serious fraud, such as one committed against an agency of the government, is six years.
Orient, represented by lawyer Ronald Oine, said in its defense that it had given different credit facilities to Sentongo since May 2015, all of which Sentongo had failed on before asking for loan consolidation.
Haruna Sentongo’s joint default position after consolidation was USh9.69 billion, with unpaid interest totaling USh184.9 million, for a total outstanding amount of USh10.38 billion.
Further Allegations Against Haruna Sentongo
Orient Bank also accused Sentongo of transferring funds intended for the development of Nakayiza Mall without informing the bank, even though the earnings from the projected rent produced from the commercial property were scheduled to be part of the loan payback plan.
According to court filings, Sentongo continued to default on his repayments even after the consolidation of his credit facilities, causing the bank to issue demand notices, which the billionaire neglected.
As a result, Orient issued a notice of sale for the mortgaged properties. However, court documents show that Sentongo asked permission to sell a portion of his land to fix his current condition.
Orient agreed to let Sentongo sell a portion of the property for $700,000 on the condition that $600,000 go to loan repayment, with future recoveries carried out in due course.
However, Sentongo again failed, leading Orient to advertise his mortgaged properties for further collection of USh10.38 billion, general damages, and expenses.
Who is Haruna Sentongo?
Haruna Sentongo is a Ugandan businessman, the founder, and CEO of Haruna Enterprises, a real estate firm based in Kampala, Uganda.
He is one of Uganda’s richest persons, with a net worth of US$420 million. Haruna was born on November 30, 1987, in Kalungu, Masaka District, Central Uganda Region.
He is the son of hajji Haruna Segawa and Nakayija Jalia, part of a Kampala-based family with significant land holdings.
Haruna attended Masaka Primary School, Kabojja International School in Kampala, and East High School in Ntinda for his O-Level studies. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Makerere University.
He started trading in home and office furniture in 2005 through a distribution company in Kampala, and with reasonable profits, he expanded into the garment trade in 2007. He could bring ladies’ clothing from Southeast Asia and distribute them around the Great Lakes region. He could then purchase commercial lands in several Kampala City areas.
In 2011, he established Haruna Enterprises Limited, a private company with limited liability, through which he constructed Haruna Towers using financing sources from various Uganda Commercial Banks. With increased cash inflows, he began to buy substantial land areas and build new markets and malls.
Justice Wabwire stated that he examined both parties’ submissions. After thorough consideration, he concluded that Orient was entitled to the remedies asked for. As a result, Justice Wabwire concluded that Orient had the right to seek damages because Haruna Sentongo subjected it to extended periods of non-repayment.
“The plaintiff, Sentongo, is owed USh10,38 billion by the defendant, Orient Bank.” “The plaintiff is ordered to repay the entire sum,” he said, noting that Orient suffered economic strangulation and commercial distress. Among other things, Justice Wabwire dismissed Sentongo’s action against Orient and awarded the bank interest on the outstanding sum of Shs10.38m as well as the costs of the suit.