THE case in which former Republican President Rupiah Banda is charged with abuse of authority of office in an oil deal involving a Nigerian company has been adjourned to today.
Lusaka chief resident magistrate Joshua Banda adjourned the matter yesterday after a mutual agreement by both the defence and prosecution teams.
When the matter was called up for continued trial yesterday, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito, who is the lead prosecutor, told the court that the matter was scheduled for continued trial, but that the defence had a request to present in chambers.
One of Banda’s defence lawyers, Stephen Lungu informed the court when it went in chambers that they were seeking an adjournment because there was an issue that the DPP was looking at.
Mr Lungu said it was an issue that they too were critically looking at and that they would in the circumstances be in a position to give Mr Nchito feedback before the end of the day yesterday.
He said depending on the feedback the matter would be able to proceed either today or tomorrow.
In the open court, Mr Nchito applied to have the matter adjourned to today and Magistrate Banda granted the application.
This is in a matter in which Banda, 76, of house number 3, plot 2759, off Leopards Hill Road in Lusaka, and is charged with one count of abuse of authority of office, contrary to the law.
It is alleged that between May 1, 2008 and September 24, 2011, Banda, being a person employed in the public service, namely President of the Republic of Zambia, did abuse the authority of his office.
Banda allegedly procured a Nigerian government-to-government oil contract in the name of the Republic of Zambia but did not benefit the Zambian people.
He is accused of instructing his son, Henry Banda to determine the destination of the proceeds of the contract.
Times of Zambia