An electrician has told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that the South African national of Indian who was nabbed for running an indoor cannabis lab made his workers think that it was a prayer room.

In this matter, Kibir Magan, is alleged to have trafficked in 16.4 grams of marijuana, a herbal product of cannabis sativa on November 1, 2017.

Between September 1 and November 1, the accused allegedly cultivated 1.1kgs of cannabis.

Magan is also alleged to have had in possession two grinders used to prepare marijuana, and used his premises at plot number 35 Buluwe Road Woodlands for use of psychotropic purposes.

When the matter came up yesterday, Peter Njobvu, told the court that he installed the lighting in the lab but that he was told it was a prayer room.

Testifying before principal resident magistrate David Simusamba, Njobvu recalled that six DEC officers approached Magan at his home on November 1.

The 28-year-old said he thought they were his boss’ usual clients until the DEC officers ordered everyone on the premises not to leave.

“I thought they were our usual clients, not until one of the officers among the six, took my work mates and myself in the board room and told us to put our phones aside and not to leave the premises,” Njobvu said.

Njobvu said being the senior most employee, a DEC officer asked him to sign a search warrant.

The electrician testified that the DEC officers, his boss and himself proceeded to Magan’s bedroom where a search was conducted in the latter’s closet.

He said a plastic bowl and a glass bottle were discovered in Magan’s wardrobe with each containing a whit plastic bag and green leaves concealed in it.

Njobvu said the officers insisted that Magan leads them to another room that contained such substances to which he led them to his “prayer room”.

When asked what he meant about the prayer room, the witness said workers were told that it was a sacred room and were barred from having access to it.

When asked if he had evidence to show that the accused ordered them not to enter because it was a prayer room, Njobvu said the other workmates and himself were told by word of mouth that it is a prayer room.

Njobvu told the court that the cannabis lab was a store room in the past.

“I entered the room between June last year when I started working there up to this year in August. It used to be a store room, that’s where we kept stock not until in August when I installed Heyday lighting in the room,” said Njobvu.

Njobvu also denied being an informant of the DEC.

He said he only had access to the room after DEC officers asked him for assistance, being an expert who did the fittings.

Trial continues on December 18.