A Former Chief of Staff at State House has discredited the letter presented in court by state prosecutors as evidence saying the letter look like forgeries as they do not meet State House standard.
This is in the case in which former president Rupiah Banda is charged with abuse of authority.
During cross-examination by Rupiah Banda’s lawyers Dr. Austin Sichinga said, as a Chief of Staff, among his many duties at State House, was to ensure there was standard in the letters that was sent to other Heads of State.
He said the letters presented before court as evidence did not meet the presidential threshold because it had so many errors and disparities.
“I was also in charge of putting together the system the former head of state was to use. I was also familiar with the stationary that was used in the office of the president and I am not aware of any changes that were done, not to my knowledge” he said.
He said if there were changes in stationary, he could have known because he was the person responsible of such activities.
Additionally, Dr. Sichinga said all the formal correspondences by the president were done on a similar type of stationary including the Logo and font.
When asked to explain why the variations on the two letters alleged to have been sent to president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Sichinga said the letters in question could not have passed through his office.
Dr. Sichinga who identified the variations on the two courts of arms, letters typed on the two different fonts, styles and typing errors including the spelling on the name of the president of Nigeria said it was evident that the letters did not meet the required standards.
He said in one letter, the wording in one letter was in mixed cases and font while the other letter was typed in a combination lower and upper cases including italicized
“Definitely, I did not sanction the changes in the stationary in these letters nor did I allow the letter to go with these variations.
Asked by the lawyers whether he saw the former Head of State signing the letter in question, Dr Sichinga’s response was in the negative.
He said it was not in President Rupiah Banda’s style to signing letters in public for he would take time to read the letter before signing it.
Asked just in case some one whom he did not know could have stamped, Dr. Sichinga said even then the person who could have stamped the letter could have put his initials and could have gotten in torch with him.
“Yes, there is a stamp showing the signature of the former heads of state on each one of the two letters but there are no initials to show the person who could have stamped the letter on behalf of the president.
Asked why there is need of those initials, the former chief of staff said to trace the person who signed the document.
“One of my duties is to ensure there is standard in the correspondence made by the head of state. My concern was in both style and content. If anyone of them was found wanting in style and content he could amend it,” he said
He said when he drafted the first to letter to Nigerian head of state, he was satisfied in content and style otherwise he could not have let it go.
He said he did does not know the content of the letter he saw in the blotter he just made quick glimpse to find out nothing was emergence in nature.
He said the letter in question were written long before he met the Osigwe Brothers at State House when they come to visit in the company of one unknown Zambia
He said that in the absence of the original it is difficult to tell whether the letter in question was genuine or not.
In re-examination by Director for Public Prosecutor Mutembo Nchito, Dr. Sichinga said he never authored all letters for the president.
And in what seems to be an embarrassment at the turn of events on his witnesses, Nchito applied that the case be adjourned till next week.