The sacked former Chairman of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council Hajji Ali Adrama has told Court that his powers as Council Chairman were usurped by the Mufti, the Secretary General and his Deputy Hassan Basajabalaba while allocating Muslim trustee properties.
Ali Adrama was testifying as the first witness in a case in which the Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Shaban Mubajje, UMSC Secretary General Edris Kasenene and Deputy UMSC Chairman Hassan Basajabalaba are accused of fraudulent disposal of Muslim trustee properties. The trio is accused of making documents without authority and conspiracy to defraud the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council.
They were sued following investigations by an independent commission on the alleged illegal sale of Supreme Council properties in Kampala. Ali Adrama lost his seat as Chairman of the Council to Basajabalaba shortly after the Commission handed over its report to the Council.
Ali Adrama, a key prosecution witness told Court presided over by Buganda Road Chief Magistrate Margaret Tibulya that he was sidelined by the trio during the transactions that resulted in the lease of the properties to HAKS Express, a Company owned by Basajabalaba. Under the Supreme Council Constitution, the Mufti, Secretary General and the Supreme Council Chairman are the recognized signatories of Muslim properties.
But Defence lawyer Muzamir Kibedi produced in Court a document allegedly signed by Adrama authorizing the sell of Plots 30 and 102 to HAKS Express. In his defence Adrama said he did not know the implications of signing the document. He told Court that the Supreme Council agreed to lease the two plots because they were facing a financial crisis. The two plots were later allegedly sold by Basajabalaba's HAKS Express to another Kampala businessman.
Hearing of the case was adjourned to 30th of this month.
Meanwhile Chief Magistrate Margaret Tibulya has rejected pleas by the private prosecution to have the embezzlement case against Mubajje, Kasenene and Basajabalaba reinstated.
The DPP dropped the embezzlement charge on grounds that there was insufficient evidence to support the charge.
Fred Muwema who is representing private prosecution had asked Court to review the decision since the charge is an integral part of the trial.
But Tibulya ruled that the Constitution empowers the DPP to strike off the charge.