EX-ZAMBIAN PRESIDENT BANDA ARRESTED OVER NIGERIAN OIL DEAL

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Zambia’s former President Rupiah Banda, has been arrested in connection with a Nigerian oil deal, struck with a Nigerian firm while he was in power an investigator told reporters.

“President Rupiah Banda has been formally charged and arrested in connection with the procurement of oil which did not benefit the country,” NamukoloKasumpa, a spokeswoman for government investigators told reporters yesterday.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) also reported that Banda was being accused of stealing more than $11million (£7m) during his three years in office, Reuters news agency reports.

Mr. Banda, who was stripped of presidential immunity earlier this month, was questioned for nearly three hours before being freed on bail. The former president denied the charges and said he was a victim of a witch-hunt, he was immediately freed on bail and he is due in court on Tuesday.

Shortly after being released, Mr. Banda addressed his supporters, telling them to remain calm and that he would win the case in court.

The former leader lost 2011 elections to Michael Sata, whose government is investigating several high-profile deals made by Mr. Banda’s administration amid accusations of corruption.

Late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was Nigeria’s President during the period with President Goodluck Jonathan taking over the country’s government after Yar’Adua’s death in 2010.

Although details about the deal could not be gotten as at press time, sources said the deal could have been struck during the tenure of either president.

“This is a highly classified and coded deal, details of what transpired seems to have been kept in high secrecy but the truth will eventually come out,” a source within the presidency said yesterday.

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