Zambia on Monday arrested the country’s former president Rupiah Banda over Nigeria’s oil deal, government investigation spokeswoman said.
Banda was arrested in Lusaka and charged with abuse of authority in relation to an oil procurement deal.
This is coming after the Parliament removed his presidential immunity about two weeks ago, paving the way for his prosecution for various corrupt acts.
Banda last week appeared before an official panel to answer allegations of corruption during his three years in charge of Africa’s biggest copper producer.
Banda was arrest in connection with Nigerian crude oil deal whose proceeds he asked his son Henry to deposit in a Barclays Bank account opened for the purpose in Singapore.
Justice minister Wynter Kabimba had earlier told the House that there were various acts of corruption that Banda had committed, hence the need to have his immunity removed so that he could face prosecution in the courts of law.
According to Kabimba, the Government Joint Investigative Team (GJIT) in its investigations discovered that, as Republican president then, Banda personally signed a letter requesting for the supply of 45,000 barrels per day of Term Crude Oil from the Nigerian Petroleum Company in Nigeria.
“The GJIT through its investigations has established that the Zambian government paid the sum of US$2.5 million to the Nigerian National Oil Company for the said crude oil facility through the Zambian Government’s Nigerian Procurement and a financing agent called SARB Energy Limited. The GJIT has further established that Henry Banda, son of former president Rupiah Bwezani Banda, was involved in the oil deal with the sole responsibility of deciding where the Nigerian company SARB Energy Limited which was assigned the responsibility to uplift the crude oil would remit the proceeds for this transaction,” Kabimba said.
“The GJIT has further established that Mr Henry Banda opened an off-shore bank account with Barclays Bank in Singapore into which the proceeds of the crude oil were remitted on behalf of his father, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda instead of the national treasury of the Government of the Republic of Zambia. This diversion of the crude oil proceeds constitutes abuse of office, fraud and misappropriation of public funds on Mr Rupiah Banda’s part for which he must be prosecuted by the GJIT.”