The Acting President Alexander Chikwanda has been asked to suspend Judge Albert Wood and set in motion the process of withdrawing his appointment as Supreme Court Judge for having caused the irregular release of the case file involving JNC and the defunct Zambians Airways where the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito and Post Newspaper owner Fred M’membe were directors, Douglas Siakalima has demanded.
Siakalima who is special advisor to UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema said that since the Judicial Complaints Authority had acknowledged receipt of a formal complaint against Judge Wood for alleged professional misconduct, it was imperative that the appointing authority should immediately revoke his appointment as Supreme Court Judge.
Judge Wood who has since been promoted as Supreme Court Judge has been accused to having disclosed the transfer of the DBZ loan case file to Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito and Post Newspaper owner Fred M’membe.
Nchito and M’membe are alleged to have influenced the suspension of Supreme Court Judge Philip Musonda and two High Court Judges Charles Kajimanga and Nigel Mutuna and the setting up of a tribunal to investigate them.
Siakalima said Judge Wood had committed serious judicial and constitutional transgressions and should not continue serving as Judge in any court adding the Acting President should show leadership by suspending him (Wood) so that he could comprehensively be investigated by the Judicial Complaints Authority.
Last week, the Zambian Voice lodged a complaint against Judge Wood for professional misconduct and negligence to the Judicial Complaints Authority for having allowed the transfer of the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) case file to Judge Nigel Mutuna.
Judge Wood has also been accused to having discussed the movement of the file from his chambers with Nchito and M’membe, the act which was unconstitutional and bordering on professional misconduct.
Siakalima said President Sata had already set precedence and Chikwanda should therefore have no problems in revoking the appointment of Judge Wood and suspending him until after he had been cleared by the Judicial Complaints Authority.
He said Judge Wood should not attempt of present himself before the Parliamentary select committee for ratification because of the scandals surrounding his name adding that should the unthinkable happen and he (Wood) got ratified, he would be nothing but a scandal in the eyes of right thinking Zambians.
“With all the scandals surrounding Judge Wood, it has now become imperative that the Acting President Chikwanda should with immediate effect revoke his appointment as Supreme Court Judge. Judge Wood should not even present himself before the Parliamentary select committee to seek for ratification. It would be mischievous for Sata to allow Judge Wood to continue serving while he would be under investigations by the Judicial Complaints Authority,” Siakalima said.
He said Judge Wood new that it was wrong and un-procedural for him to have released the case file because he had the constitutional right to securely keep the file in his chambers and should therefore be held accountable for having caused judicial breaches.He explained that while the Judge Mutuna ruling on the DBZ loan scandal obtained by Nchito and M’membe was apt, the Supreme Court had to send back the case to the High Court for retrial on the basis of the un-procedural movement of the case file from Judge Wood’s chambers.He said Judge Wood’s professional character had been called to question and should have the moral values to consider his new position unattainable because his integrity had been fractured by his actions.