‘RB asked for $1m’

NIGERIA’S Sarb Energy Limited managing director Akpan Ekpene has told a magistrate’s court that former Republican President Rupiah Banda requested for an advance payment of US$1 million from the oil deal to ‘boost’ his 2011 election campaigns.
The Lusaka magistrate’s court also heard yesterday that Banda’s son, Henry, set up a company in Hong Kong to facilitate receipt of the advance payment after faking to have engaged in a power plant project with Sarb Energy because the advance payment should have been sent to the Zambian Government.
This is in a matter in which Banda, 75, is charged with abuse of authority of office relating to procuring a government-to-government oil deal between Zambia and Nigeria.
Mr Ekpene, 46, told Chief Resident Magistrate Joshua Banda during continued trial yesterday that after the Nigerian government approved the oil deal for Zambia in which he had acted as an agent for Zambia.