Dismiss RB’s Application – DPP

DIRECTOR of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito has asked the Lusaka magistrates’ court not to entertain the manoeuvres by former Republican president Rupiah Banda to delay his oil deal case by asking for a constitutional reference in the High Court.
Mr Nchito said it was illogical and an abuse of the court process for Banda to allege at this late stage that issues had arisen that hinged on the Constitution and needed determination by the High Court.
The DPP said in his written submission to chief resident magistrate, Joshua Banda yesterday that it was amazing that at this stage when the
State’s last witness was on stand, Banda had suddenly realised that he may be prejudiced by his alleged biases.
This is in a matter in which Banda is charged with abuse of authority relating to an oil transaction with the Nigerian government which the State alleges benefited his family.
Mr Nchito said the proceedings in which the State had called nine witnesses were proceeding smoothly with the court exercising utmost impartiality and good judgment on issues raised by both parties.
He said there was nothing that had suddenly happened to warrant Banda to suspect that he (DPP) had become impartial, adding that Banda was making personal attacks on the character of the DPP.
Mr Nchito said Banda’s speculation that he hated him and his family to the extent that he was bent on prosecuting only them was a definition of malice and vexation within the meaning placed in Article 28 (2) (a) of the Constitution.
He said that Banda’s affidavit should be struck out and the application dismissed in totality as it lacked minimum legal standards.
Mr Nchito said Banda’s claims that he could not prosecute him because of a conflict of interest that he allegedly conceded to during a
Parliamentary Select Committee hearing were unfounded as they could not be substantiated by any fact before the court.
He said there was no conflict of interest and, as such there was no need for him to step aside and allow another aocate to handle the matter.
“This conclusion is illogical, at best,” Mr Nchito said. “It would be absurd if prosecutors could not prosecute a case just because at one time or the other in their life they knew somebody or had some sort of dealings with some other person who is not connected to the case at hand.”
He said there was no evidence to show that he was investigating Banda while he was already undergoing trial.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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