Pre-condition by President is unjustifiable, unintelligible
…a bad precedence is being set for financial sector — AFC
Chairman of the Alliance For Change Khemraj Ramjattan says that the precondition set by President Bharrat Jagdeo as it relates to the investigation into what transpired at Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO) Guyana is unjustifiable, unintelligible and illegitimate.
The AFC Chairman pointed out that it is a bad precedence being set by the Head of State for the financial sector and the country as a whole.
He added that to use the non-investigation of an incident that occurred so many years ago to justify a non-investigation of the CLICO (Guyana), especially given its magnitude and repercussions, reeks of rotten (bad) governance.
The President says that he will agree to an investigation into what transpired at Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO) Guyana only if there is a corresponding investigation into the affairs of Globe Trust and Investment Company Limited (GTICL).
This is according to Leader of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Raphael Trotman, when asked to comment on the recent meeting with the President on Thursday last.
Trotman told this newspaper that while he did not share the same view with the President, given that the two scenarios are completely different, the meeting was cordial and numerous issues were discussed, including the upcoming Summit of Americas.
The ACF leader said that despite the cordiality of the meeting, which convened at the invitation of the President, “at the end of the day we agreed to disagree.”
In response to the leader of the Peoples’ National Congress Reform Robert Corbin’s attempt to have the National Assembly request an investigation into CLICO Guyana, Trotman had voiced a different approach and is of the opinion that a motion in the House to force an investigation into the affairs of Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO) Guyana will not yield the desired result and will turn out to be a lame academic exercise.
He said that what he believes to be a more fruitful approach would be a move to the Director of Public Prosecutions to force a police investigation.
In Corbin’s motion he is seeking to have the National Assembly call for a Commission of Inquiry to determine whether there were related party dealings and/or the misuse of insider information that led to the speedy dissipation of the money received by Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO) Guyana from the sale of its bonds in the Berbice River Bridge and identify the beneficiaries.
This motion is scheduled to come up for debate in the National Assembly, soon.
It is unclear whether the motion will be supported, given that the President, when asked recently at a press briefing at Freedom House, refused to comment on the party’s position. The motion submitted by Corbin is also seeking to have the House cause the Commission of Inquiry to determine whether there was any irregularity and/or malfeasance in the use of money invested/entrusted by the National Insurance Scheme in CLICO (Guyana) and to present the details of all transactions involving NIS funds.
There is also a call for the House to request the President and the Government of Guyana to establish a separate Commission of Inquiry, into the investments made by NIS, with terms of reference which include the investigation of all investments made with NIS funds, with a view to determining if there was any malfeasance or irregularity and to determine whether all decisions, on the investment of NIS funds, were approved by the duly appointed Board.
Corbin has based the calls on the fact that the guarantee by the government of Guyana to policyholders and depositors of CLICO (Guyana) will ultimately be a liability to taxpayers of Guyana and since the approval of a motion acknowledging and endorsing the guarantee, there have been several reports which question the propriety of several transactions and activities involving CLICO (Guyana).
It was pointed out also in the motion that the Liquidator of CLICO (Bahamas), Tony Craig Gomez, has stated inter alia that, “Contracts entered into with CLICO (Bahamas) by CLICO (Guyana) do not appear to have been standard policy contracts, but in many cases could easily appear to be the transfer of funds to the Bahamas that could easily be classified as related party loans rather than policies.”
He added also that the Liquidator has stated, “While the funds forwarded to the Bahamas were recorded in the records of CLICO (Bahamas), the cash actually appeared to have flowed into the United States of America bank account directly from Guyana.”