SUSPENDED Eastern Province PF youth chairperson Emmanuel Banda, commonly known as Jay Jay, and others yesterday failed to take plea in a case they are charged with aggravated assault with intent to steal before the Lusaka High Court.

Banda and others could not take plea as their two co-accused persons were not before court.

In this matter, Banda, 35, a businessman of Petauke, Eastern Province, is jointly-charged with John Lungu, 26, a general worker of Garden House, Lusaka; Maxwell Pito, 20, a peasant farmer of Lusaka West; Moses Silyonde, 27, unemployed of Kanyama and Lyford Phiri, 21, unemployed, of unknown residential address with aggravated assault with intent to steal.

It is alleged that on July 6, 2020 in Lusaka, the five jointly and whilst acting together with others unknown and with intent to steal, assaulted Allan Mbahwe, a police officer.

When the case was called before Lusaka High Court Judge Wilfred Muma, Monday morning, only Banda, Pito and Phiri were present.

Defence lawyer Osborne Ngoma then applied for an adjournment, saying they were not ready to proceed with the plea as the other accused, Lungu and Silyonde were not in court as they were not served with information.

Ngoma said he would ensure to serve Lungu and Silyonde with information and asked that the matter be adjourned to Thursday.

Judge Muma granted the application and adjourned the case to November 5, this year.

On October 21, the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court committed Banda and the others to the High Court for trial.

Banda and the others had earlier appeared before the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court and were committed to the High Court for trial where they pleaded not guilty to the same charge of aggravated assault with intent to steal.

But on October 12, this year, when the matter was scheduled for commencement of trial in the Lusaka High Court, the State entered a nolle prosequi in favour of the five.

But Banda and others were re-arrested shortly after the case was discontinued.