– releases cheque issued for house lot on ‘Pradoville 2’
The Ministry of Housing yesterday released a copy of a $1.5M cheque that Region Ten Chairman, Mortimer Mingo, had given to the Ministry for a house lot in the exclusive ‘Pradoville 2” scheme.
It revealed that Mingo, of Lot 45 Topira Crescent, Richmond Hill, Linden, issued the $1,500,500 cheque to the Central Housing and Planning Authority on September 3, 2010.
However, according to the documents released by the Housing
Ministry, the cheque subsequently ‘bounced.’
Contacted by phone last night, Mingo acknowledged that the cheque was indeed his.
According to Mingo, he had received an offer of a house lot from Dr. Luncheon. “This acknowledgement was in the form of a cheque for $1.5M,” Mingo said.
But according to the Regional Chairman, after checking with “my other colleagues a few days later, and finding that they had not been offered similar increments, I took steps to ensure that no payments would be made.”
“However, what is troubling to me is that a return cheque, for whatever reason, would be returned to the writer of the cheque, so I would wonder why the Central Housing and Planning Authority would hold on to a return cheque for over a year, if they were really interested in me owning the land.”
“I am confident that I have paid no money to anyone for a houselot in PradoVille 2, at Sparendaam, and I do not own any land there.”
In a statement issued on Thursday, Mingo denied receiving any land in the area popularly referred to as “Pradoville 2” – located at Sparendaam, East Coast Demerara.
He was responding to a statement made on Wednesday by Cabinet Secretary Roger Luncheon, who had said that the Region Ten Chairman was among several Afro-Guyanese who received land in the area. Luncheon had made the statement during the ongoing libel case brought against columnist Freddie Kissoon, Kaieteur News and Editor-in-Chief Adam Harris.
The issue of the land arose when Luncheon, under cross-examination, denied that the area was predominantly filled with Indo-Guyanese who were allocated house lots by the plaintiff.
In his press statement, Mingo alleged that it was some time on or about August 2010, that Dr Luncheon called him and informed him that the Government of Guyana was in the process of allocating house lots at Sparendaam, East Coast Demerara, where the radio antennas were.
It was further disclosed that the land was being given to senior Government functionaries and Regional Chairmen.
According to Mingo, Luncheon said that he (Mingo) was identified as one of the persons for a house lot and that “I would be contacted later as to know how the allocation would be”.
Mingo said that he later contacted his lawyer and told him about the offer that was made by Luncheon. He said in a statement, “I was advised that I acknowledge the offer and wait to see what and how I would proceed with the offer.”
Mingo said that since that phone call he never heard from Dr Luncheon or anyone concerning the said plot of land.
The chairman said that he has not signed any agreement or condition of sale or paid any money for any land at Sparendaam.
The Housing Ministry has now nailed that lie by releasing the cheque.
Mingo further stated that he has never received any lease, title or transport for the said land. In fact, the Regional Chairman said that he has never even seen the said plot of land.
Defence counsel Christopher Ram had noted that Mingo is likely to be called as a witness to testify that he has never received land at Pradoville.
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