Fri, 09 Feb 2018 09:23:47 +0000
By JUSTINA MULENGA
NIGERIAN Prophet, Isaac Julius Amata’s drug trafficking case yesterday failed to take off in the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court because the state failed to bring any of the seven witnesses in the matter.
Particulars of the offence are that Julius Isaac Amata on 24th January, 2018 in Lusaka, did traffic in Psychotropic Substances namely 26.29 kilogrammes of Ephedrine without lawful authority.
In the first count, Amata is charged with trafficking of Psychotropic Substances contrary to section 6 of the laws of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act CAP 96 of the laws of Zambia.
And in the second count, Prophet Amata is charged with importation of Psychotropic Substances Act CAP 96 of the laws of Zambia in which he pleaded not guilty to both cases.
When the matter came up for commencement of trial before magistrate Brian Simachela, the state filed an application in which they stated that they were unable to proceed because one witness from Lagos, in Nigeria and another from South Africa were not yet in the country.
“We have about seven witnesses to testify in this matter, two of whom are foreigners and about five locals. However, none of the locals are present before court as one of them is having another matter at High Court, and another one travelled out of town,” said one of the state prosecutors.
But Amata’s lawyer Tutwa Ngulube, who was joined by two others objected to the state’s application saying his client was facing an unbailable offence, and was arrested in Zambia and not Lagos or South Africa.
“We are of the view that the state is trying to waste the court’s time to punish our client before trial. We ask this honorable court to let the witnesses available to testify,’ he said.
And magistrate Simachela ordered the state to proceed with the local witnesses available as they waited for the foreign witnesses. The state however, maintained that they were not ready to proceed because none of the witnesses were available.
The matter has been adjourned to February 14th 2018 for commencement of trial as the accused remains in custody.