SUSPENDED Eastern Province PF youth chairperson Emmanuel Banda, commonly known as Jay Jay ,and four others, have denied assaulting a police officer at Lusaka Central Police Station.

The five pleaded not guilty to the charge of aggravated assault before Lusaka High Court Judge Wilfred Muma Thursday morning.

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.

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 matter came up for plea yesterday before Judge Muma, Banda and the others said they understood the charge after it was read to them.

They then took pleas of not guilty.

After the court entered pleas of not guilty in respect of all accused persons, the State applied that the matter be adjourned to November 11, 2020, which application was granted.

The matter comes up on November 11, this year in the afternoon.

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 the others were rearrested shortly after the case was discontinued.