Immigration official found with case to answer

Nakonde Magistrate John Njapau has established a Prima Facie case on a Mbala Senior Immigration officer, Geoffrey Sakala , on charges of aiding prohibited immigrants (P.Is) to enter the country illegally.

And the same magistrate has revoked the bail of Sakala and remanded him in custody following the sudden withdrawal of his two sureties in a dramatic turn of events.

This is in a case in which Sakala, is facing one count of aiding P.Is contrary to section 29 [9] [10] and Section 30 [7] of the Immigration and Deportation Act number 25 of 1997.

It is alleged that on the material day of November 14 last year, Sakala was intercepted by the police at Wulongo check point about 7 km from Nakonde border with four P.Is, of Kenyan nationals of Somali origin aboard his Toyota Corona car registration number ABP 3015.

Sakala has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

In his ruling, delivered in a fully packed court room yesterday, magistrate Njapau said the court has found Sakala with a case to answer on charges of aiding prohibited immigrants to enter the country illegally.

“A prima facie case has been established against the accused person Geoffrey Sakala on charges of aiding prohibited immigrants contrary to section 29 [9] [10] as read together with section 30 [7] of the Immigration and Deportation Act number 25 of 1997 and he is accordingly put on his defence,” said the magistrate.

Magistrate Njapau said there are four serious issues which were raised by the prosecution witnesses during trial against the accused person which need to be responded to fully.

He said that the first issue which Sakala needs to respond to is that on November 14 last year; he picked four Kenyan nationals of Somali origin.

The second issue is that the accused person used his persona car, Toyota Corona registration number ABP 3015 to pick prohibited immigrants from Tunduma in Tanzania into Zambia.

The third issue is that the passports of the Kenyan nationals of Somali origin who were intercepted by the police at Wulongo check point had no official stamp from the Immigration Nakonde border control post to show that they were in Zambia legally.

The fourth one is that when police intercepted the car carrying the four prohibited immigrants; it was the accused person, Sakala who was driving it.

Magistrate Njapau said the court had found Sakala with a case to answer and put on his defence so that he can adequately defend himself.

Sakala has opted to give unsworn statement in his defence and would call two witnesses.

And magistrate Njapau has revoked Sakala’s bail and remanded him in custody following the sudden withdrawal of his sureties in a dramatic turn of events.

Lawrence Chawula and Chikuzi Banda both senior officers at the ministry of Health offices in Nakonde applied in court to withdraw from being sureties of accused person, Geoffrey Sakala on the grounds that they were busy at work.

The two sureties raised their hands and proceeded to make their application shortly after Sakala was called to enter into the accused person’s dock before the magistrate could make his ruling on with or no case to answer for Sakala.

In his ruling, magistrate Njapau said he had granted the application from Chawula and Banda and this means that Sakala would be remanded in custody until his meets bail conditions.

“The application from the two gentlemen is granted. Because of the withdrawal of the sureties, the accused person will be remanded in custody until he finds new sureties on the same bail condition of raising two working sureties,” Said magistrate Njapau.

Magistrate Njapau adjourned the case to January 18 this month when Sakala is expected to open his defence.

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