The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) is a coalition of over hundred and fifty anti-corruption organisations whose primary aim is to constructively combat corruption and ensure effective monitoring of anti-graft agencies, charged with the fight against corruption and enthronement of transparency, accountability, and probity towards the eradication of corruption in Nigeria.
The attention of our Network, as a member of an international network of advocates against corruption, was originally drawn to the ongoing state-sponsored harassment and persecution of Zambia’s Anti-Corruption Czar, Mr. Mutembo Nchito, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), of the country. Our further intervention and investigation led to on the spot assessment visitation to Zambia during the week of 12th – 17th April, 2015. During the visitation, our 2-man team met with stakeholders and attended a sitting of Mutembo Probe Tribunal, constituted by the President to investigate allegations against Mr. Mutembo.
Our further investigation revealed secret conspiracy between Zambian Ex-President, Mr. Rupiah Banda and the current President, Mr. Edgar Lungu, to terminate an almost concluded prosecution of Mr. Banda and his son, Henry Banda, in a case of fraudulent conversion, money laundering and abuse of office in a transaction with a Nigerian connection. Mr. Lungu is largely considered a protege of Mr. Banda across Zambia. Though, both are of opposing party affiliations, Mr. Banda is known as the major financier, strategist and benefactor of Mr. Lungu in the recently held election that produced Mr. Lungu as President of Zambia five months ago, after the death of Mr. Sata in office as President.
Facts of the Nigerian Connection:
The Nigerian government under Late President Umar Musa Yar’adua offered to assist Zambia in her state of oil shortages and developmental challenges, under a bilateral arrangement, with allocation of crude oil to the country on favourable terms through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Mr. Banda was then the President of Zambia. Though, the agreement was reached in principle in 2008, the final offer letter was issued by Crude Oil Marketing Division of NNPC on 21st March, 2011, for a renewable One Year NNPC crude Oil contract for 20,000 barrels per day effective from 1st May, 2011.
The Zambian government, under Mr. Banda, officially appointed and authorized a Nigerian Energy company to trade on her behalf under the offer. Between August, 2011 and April, 2012 four cargos of 3,790,706 barrels of crude oil, with a net worth of $438,887,268.83, were duly paid for and lifted on behalf of the Zambian government by the appointed operator. The Zambian Ex-President’s son, in connivance with his father, hurriedly registered a company called IEXORA International Limited in Hong Kong with a Barclays Bank account in Singapore. Mr. Banda then directed the Nigerian partner to pay proceeds of the oil sales to IEXORA while his son operated under a fake email name of Elwood Fairbanks in the deal. Almost 1$million meant for Zambia’s development was diverted into this fraudulently opened account by Mr. Banda and his son.
On the defeat of Mr. Banda at the polls by late President Sata, the Zambia DPP office undertook a comprehensive investigation of the transaction, under which he visited Nigeria on a Mutual Legal Assistance request to gather evidence and information for the purpose of prosecuting Mr. Banda and his son on the offences of money laundering, abuse of office and fraudulent convention in Zambia.
On the conclusion of a through and fruitful investigation, a case was instituted against Mr. Rupiah Banda and his son, Henry Banda in Zambia. The prosecutor had already closed his case, with the Nigerian partner in the crude oil transactions appearing in the Zambian Court as a prosecution witness, before the sudden death of President Sata in office. Mr. Henry Banda had on the commencement of trial escaped to South Africa as a fugitive. With the emergency of President Edgar Lungu, all tricks were deployed to stampede the proceedings Mr. Banda, with the active collaboration of members of President Lungu’s kitchen cabinet. This resulted in the ominous harassment and persecution of the DPP, who is constitutionally charged with duty of prosecuting state matters.
CSNAC is by this petition requesting your immediate and thorough investigation into this obvious case of fraudulent diversion, money laundering and mismanagement of funds to ensure that all those persons found culpable are brought to book.
Our demands are:
1. The EFCC should investigate the actual total amount of money illegally diverted under this transactions.
2. The Commission should establish all those persons connected with this fraud both within and outside Nigeria.
3. The Commission to, under Mutual Legal Assistance, demand the extradition of Mr. Henry Banda to Nigeria from South Africa or criminal prosecution be initiated against him in South Africa as being done in Henry Okah’s case.
4. The Singaporean government, through the embassy in Nigeria, should be contacted for investigation into IEXORA’s registration, account and its operation, to ensure such money laundering deals, as the one in reference, are discouraged.
5. Mr. Rupiah Banda and Henry Banda should be made to refund the proceeds of crimes to Nigeria or a special account in Zambia. Such account must be subjected to public scrutiny.
6. Mr. Rupiah Banda to be tried in Nigeria for money laundering and fraudulent diversion of public fund.
We thank you for your anticipated prompt response to this request.