LUSAKA High Court judge Sharon Newa has sent back a case in which the State asked her to render an opinion on the decision of principal resident magistrate Greenwell Malumani to acquit two lawyers and an accountant for theft of K2 million from Libyan African Investment Company Zambia Limited.
Judge Newa sent back the case to the Subordinate Court for amendment of the questions raised so that they reflect that they were being made pursuant to findings by the magistrate being either erroneous on point of law or as being in excess of jurisdiction.
The judge said the amendment of the questions should be done within 14 days from January 25 failure to which, the case stated shall be dismissed.
In this case, the State asked the High Court to render its opinion on magistrate Malumani’s decision to acquit lawyers Jeah Madaika and Mwila Chibiliti together with former LAICO accountant Clement Wonani after finding that the lawyers did not steal the money as alleged but that they were paid for legal services provided.
This was at ruling on case or no case to answer stage.
But the trio, Madaika, Chibiliti and Wonani, raised a preliminary issue on the State’s request for the High Court to review its acquittal and advanced three grounds on points of law, among them, the question whether the court could entertain a case stated when it had not complied with the law.
Their lawyer Charles Changano also stated that the contents of the case stated show that the State highlighted facts that were not proved
by the Subordinate Court.
But in response, the State explained that the case stated arose out of an acquittal of Madaika, Chibiliti and Wonani at the case stage in a ruling delivered on July 31 last year.
After hearing submissions from both parties, judge Newa send back the case to the Subordinate court for the State to make amendments.