Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
Senior Counsel Roysdale Forde thinks Guyana would be better served with the resignation of Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall S.C, and has called on him to resign.
Speaking with Village Voice News about the AG’s recent attacks on Justice Sandil Kissoon and Senior Magistrate Leron Daly for their judgments, which were not in the government’s favour, Forde said the AG continues “debase the Office of Attorney General and. He should just resign. He is shameful and an embarrassment to his predecessors.” Some of Nandlall’s predecessors were Shridath Ramphal SC, Mohamed Shahabuddeen SC, Keith Massiah, SC, Bernard De Santos SC, Doodnauth Singh SC, Basil Williams SC.
On 3rd May 2023 Justice Singh delivered a ruling that directed the state-owned Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enforce the liability clause in Exxon Permits, within 30 days from the ruling, or risk the permits being suspended. The EPA has appealed the ruling.
Senior Magistrate Leron Daly on 16th May dismissed the case brought by the State Organised Crime Unit against former Minister of Finance Winston Jordan who was represented by Forde and Dawn Cush. Nandlall called the decision an “egregious error” and has adopted the pugilistic role in attacking the judiciary, and by extension the judge and senior magistrate.
Forde said he sees Nandlall’s “recent volley of vile” as part of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) overall efforts to breakdown the guardrails of democracy.
The senior counsel said there is chaos, dysfunction and lawlessness everywhere in society and presiding over the decay is President Ali, aided by an inept AG and other members of his administration. “The AG could only go as far as the President permits.” Equating the societal decline to the proverbial fish rotting from the head, the senior counsel said President Ali must take responsibility. “He cannot remain silent or distance himself from the AG’s attempt to undermine the rule of law and independence of the judiciary.”
Turning attention to the fire last Sunday at Mahdia Secondary School that resulted in the death of 19 children and injuries of many. Forde said the government’s handling of the tragedy, and Royden Williams aka ‘Smallie’ escape from Mazaruni Prison is evidence of the political dysfunction.
Guyanese see evidence of persons, entrusted the responsibility to act on behalf of the people, running around like headless chickens, more intent on publicity stunt than engaging in judicious decision-making, the lawyer said
There is diminishing interest in the adherence to law and order and greater focus in creating chaos, confusion, division and making persons sacrificial lambs, Forde contended. “The AG should be providing counsel to the Cabinet in approaching these pressing issues, but these too have been outsourced to social media talking heads, friendly media and PR allies.”
The problem in society starts at the top, he said, as he drew an analogy of the fish rotting from the head.
Returning to Jordan’s matter, Forde contended “the discharge on a charge of misconduct in public office by Senior Magistrate Leron Daly is a severe blow to the PPP/C’s vindictive and diabolical scheme to besmirch the reputation of Mr. Jordan and by extension the APNU+AFC government. And you would think Nandlall would address his mind to the recent rulings and learn from these but no, he aids the government in acting like a mad bull in a china store, the senior counsel asserted.
“The Court’s decision was well founded. The Court found that there was no evidence of any recklessness and no misconduct because the prosecution could not establish that Mr. Jordan did not act lawfully.”
It was pointed out that whilst Nandlall articulates a proposition that the doctrine of stare decisis binds the lower courts to accept decisions of superior courts, he conveniently omits to state that an inferior court may conclude that a decision of a superior court is incorrect and per incuriam. Additionally, Forde contended the government could not establish the property was owned by NICIL as claimed in the charge filed in the Court.
The property, in Kingston, Georgetown was sold to Brian Tiwari on the directive of the Cabinet. To this end Forde said the AG’s criticism of the Senior Magistrate’s decision “is unacceptable, vicious, nasty and has crossed the boundary of legitimate and acceptable comment.”
Nandlall’s assault on the independence of the judiciary is unwarranted, out of place and despicable, concluded.