RB’s son not Exora director-State witness

A witness has told the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court that former President Rupiah Banda’s son Henry, is not part of Exora, a company which is suspected of receiving US$500 000 for purchase of oil from Nigeria.

Friday Tembo, senior investigations officer at the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), said there was no Banda among the directors of Singaporean based company Exora.

Cross examined by the former president’s lawyers who included Lubinda Linyama, Makebi Zulu, Steven Lungu, Sakwiba Sikota and Patrick Mvunga, Mr Tembo promised to reveal the names of directors and other people soon.

“Henry Banda is not a director in Exora, there is no Banda name in Exora. But there is a link to that,” Mr Tembo said.

This is a matter where former President Banda, 76, of plot number 2758, off Leopards Hill Road, Lusaka is facing abuse of authority of office charges in relation to the alleged illegal procurement of oil from Nigeria to the tune of US$2.5 million, whose proceeds allegedly went into an offshore account.

However, Mr Tembo believed that the Banda family could be part of Exora because Mr Banda had told him that Henry had a deal with Exora. He also said the oil was uplifted from Nigeria to different places around the world including Navasota in August 2011 and that the statement that the oil was never uplifted was hearsay.

This was after one of Mr Banda’s lawyers Lubinda Linyama told him that Sarb Energy managing director Akpan Ekpene testified in court in August 2013 and said there was not oil which was uplifted.

Mr Tembo said there was swift documentation to show transaction between Sarb Energy and Exora which was the recipient of the money even though he did not verify with banks in Nigeria and Singapore where he had gone to investigate the matter.

Asked whether he had a proof of transaction, Mr Tembo said the proof was the interaction he had with Sarb Energy.

He said the proceeds from the oil deal were meant to benefit the Zambian Government but instead it went to private individuals.

Mr Tembo said Mr Banda took advantage of the procurement of oil for his personal benefit and that the money was diverted to Exora.

Director of Public Prosecution Mutembo Nchito pleaded with defence lawyers not to ask Mr Tembo suggestive questions but to stick to the indictment.

But Mr Sikota said Mr Tembo should not deliberately frustrate the proceedings but answer accordingly.

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