Bukanga Lonzo case: The Constitutional Court declares itself incompetent

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Patrick Kitebi and Augustin Matata at the helm

Kinshasa, November 15th, 2021 (CPA) – The Constitutional Court sitting in repressive matters on the case opposing the public prosecutor against Senator Matata Ponyo and others, on Bukanga Lonzo case, declared itself incompetent to sit, in its judgment delivered on Monday during the hearing chaired by the president of this institution, Dieudonne Kaluba Dibwa, at its headquarters located at the Royal Square, in Gombe municipality.

« The Court notes that the jurisdictional competence being attribution, the defendant Matata Ponyo Mapon Augustin, who ceased to be Prime Minister in office when the proceedings against him are initiated, must be prosecuted before his natural judge, so that, otherwise, it would be removed from the judge that the Constitution and the laws assign to it, and in violation of article 19 paragraph 1 of the Constitution ”, noted the judgment read by the President of the Court.

As a result, he concluded, “the accused Matata Ponyo could not be prosecuted before the Court, on the basis of article 163 of the Constitution … From what precedes, the Court says that the exception of incompetence based on the violation of Articles 163 and 164 of the Constitution, and declares itself incompetent to hear the criminal action initiated against the accused Matata Ponyo Mapon Augustin as well as against the accused Kitebi Kibol Mvul Patrice and Grobler Christo prosecuted in correity with the cited above in prorogation of jurisdiction ”.

The defense lawyers had raised, during the previous hearing, it will be recalled, a number of exceptions, including the incompetence of the Court in this case, thus asking it to declare the case inadmissible.

In a hot reaction, Me Nyabirungu, one of Matata’s lawyers, welcomed the judgment and was delighted that the Court, the most prestigious in the country, said the law. The three defendants, namely Matata Ponyo, Kitebi Kibol M’vul and Grobler Christo, surrounded by their counsel, were present at the bar. ACP /