Ugandan bank ordered to unfreeze accounts of Tripoli-based World Islamic Call Society

Ugandan bank ordered to unfreeze accounts of Tripoli-based World Islamic Call Society

May 12, 2022 - 22:39
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Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

Uganda’s Kampala High Court has directed “Tropical Bank” to unfreeze four bank accounts owned by the Tripoli-headquartered World Islamic Call Society (WICS), branding the actions as being unlawful and a violation of WICS’s rights.

Daily Monitor newspaper in Uganda said the actions of the defendant (Tropical Bank) are a total breach of contract between the plaintiff (WICS) and defendant rotating around the bank-customer relationship

“The bank is entitled to close or freeze the bank account but they ought to treat the customer fairly by ensuring that the freeze was justified and ensure that the freeze is quickly lifted instead of making it appear indefinite,” a Ugandan Justice, Musa Ssekaana, ruled.

The newspaper said in their lawsuit, WICS had claimed to be operating four bank accounts in the dollar, euro, and shilling with Tropical Bank which they opened in 2019.

WICS further stated that around April 2020, they attempted to transact against their Uganda Shilling and Dollar accounts which were used for daily organization operations but were shocked to discover that the said accounts and the other accounts were frozen by the bank.

Court documents indicated, according to Daily Monitor, that WICS was informed that the accounts were frozen under the instructions of the general manager of the World Islamic Call Society in Tripoli-Libya.

It said the bank had ignored the opposition from WICS against the arbitrary freezing of its bank accounts as well as directives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on their status and the need to lift the restrictions on its accounts.

“But WICS challenged the actions of the bank as being unlawful, suspicious and unjustified, and in breach of the Diplomatic Privileges Act and Host Agreement.” The newspaper indicated.

While delivering his ruling, Justice Ssekaana noted that the actions of the bank through the managing director to receive directions on how the bank account in Uganda should be operated was an abuse of authority.

On further faulting the bank, Justice Ssekaana said the bank got clarity on the operations of the accounts of WICS from the respective offices like the Libyan Embassy in Uganda and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uganda, adding that the bank should have lifted the freeze instead of continuing to insist on getting further instructions from third parties from Tripoli-Libya.