FORMER Vikram Investment Director Vinod Yaddula’s USD 200 000 theft case is in new twist as Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale has recused himself from the proceedings.
And Lusaka Force Headquarters Officer N. Chama had a torrid time explaining the absence of the arresting officer Andrew N’gambi in the commencement of trial in the above named case before Hon. Mwale.
In the previous sitting, N’gambi was ordered by the court to summon Vikram Investment Chairperson Reddy Vikram, a key State witness in the matter, failure to which he would take up the witness bench himself.
When the matter came up for commencement of trial on 11th March 2020, Officer Chama told the court in a low tone that N’gambi had travelled to Eastern Province for a national assignment.
He further expressed ignorance as to whether the arresting officer had served the summons to any of the witnesses in the matter.
“Officer Ng’ambi has travelled to Eastern Province for a national assignment… I don’t know whether he delivered the summons to the witness who is reportedly out of the country,’’ Chama said as he was ordered by the Court to speak up!
After Chama made his submission, the Chief Resident Magistrate asked whether the case was related to the other matter before him(where Yaddula has sued Vikram for theft of cheques and forgery).
In his submission, .Yaddula’s Legal Counsel, Mulambo Haimbe, responded in the affirmative.
“Your honor, the two matters are related in the sense that Vikram who is a key State witness is also the accused in the other matter in which Yaddula has sued him (Vikram) in a criminal matter under civil jurisdiction before this same honourable court,” Counsel Haimbe said, “The Court may recall that in the last sitting ( were Vikram’s Bench Warrant was withdrawn ) the witness through his legal representatives promised to make himself available in both matters.”
At this point, Magistrate Mwale recused himself and referred the matter to Court 11 before honourable Hamaundu.
After the accused (Yaddula) took a plea of not guilty before Magistrate Hamaundu, the matter was adjourned to 1 April for mention and 27 April for commencement of trial.