(Reuters) – A Zambian court on Monday cleared ex-president Rupiah Banda of corruption in an oil procurement deal.
Banda, who ruled Zambia from 2008 to 2011, had been accused of sealing the government-to-government oil contract with Nigeria when president in order to benefit himself and his family by $2.5 million.
“There is no evidence tendered regarding the proof of the transfer of the money and that Banda and his family benefited,” magistrate Joshua Banda said.
“I am satisfied that the evidence laid before court is not sufficient.”
The magistrate said that if the oil deal had been a government-to-government contract as claimed by the prosecution, an official from Nigeria should have been called to testify as a witness.
Zambian authorities in 2013 officially charged Banda with abuse of authority over the deal.