HIGH Court Judge Annie Sitali has granted Rupiah Banda’s lawyers judicial review of Parliament’s decision to lift his immunity saying procedure was not followed.
Former President Banda was challenging the removal of his immunity from prosecution by Parliament. The Defense team representing the former president is lead by Prof Patrick Mvunga other includes Eric Silwamba and Sakwiba Sikota.
His lawyers stated that the decision of the National Assembly of Zambia to proceed and to remove his immunity on a simple majority of 80 out of a total of 158 MPs was illegal and irregular.
Banda’s lawyers further stated that the decision of the National Assembly to deny him an opportunity to be heard and adopt a summary procedure prior to resolving that he was amenable to the jurisdiction of any criminal court was contrary to the principal of ‘no person should be condemned unheard’ was therefore illegal and irregular.
He added that the decision to move the motion without due and proper inquiry as to whether the allegations presented as grounds constituted acts performed in his personal or office capacity was illegal and irregular.
The former President also contended that it was unreasonable for Speaker Matibini to proceed with the motion notwithstanding that a petition challenging the state’s intention to lift his immunity had been filed at the High Court and therefore sub-judice.