– AG Nandlall
By Gary Eleazar
The Guyana Government has absolutely no intention of abiding with a motion approved on Wednesday evening by the Combined Opposition.
Legal Advisor, Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General, Anil Nandlall is confirming this, calling the edict of the motion an ‘opinion’ of the House and not binding in law.
Nandlall spoke with this publication yesterday and emphasized the point that there is absolutely nothing in law that allows for Carl Greenidge to have his way on the motion.
Greenidge, of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), sought by way of motion to have among other things, monies provided for an independent probe of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) which is headed by Winston Brassington.
Nandlall blasted Greenidge for what he calls making a mockery of the Guyana Parliament, wasting time in the House as well as wasting taxpayers’ dollars that is spent to foot the bills for the Parliamentary sessions.
Building profile and campaigning
The Minister of Legal Affairs opined that Greenidge is using the National Assembly to build his profile and campaign for the position of leader of the Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR).
The PNCR will in a matter of days host its 17th Biennial Congress at Congress Place, where there will be election for the top post in the party.
Carl Greenidge and David Granger are going head to head with Volda Lawrence also nominated to contest the post.
Nandlall further pointed out that “any fair-minded person conducting an objective perusal of each of the motions submitted by Greenidge thus far for debate in Parliament would realize that in some way or another proposes to violate the Constitution or other statutory provisions”.
Nandlall said that he is respectfully calling on the Speaker of the House Raphael Trotman to be more vigilant and to be firmer in his dealings with Greenidge.
According to Nandlall, the Speaker is not as powerless as he may believe and it is he that is in charge of the National Assembly.
Nandlall called on Trotman to “rein in Greenidge and the National Assembly” saying that the people of Guyana are looking to him as the person responsible for the affairs and conduct of Parliament. He says that it is for Trotman to ensure that the Parliamentary process is not “misused and abused.
Nandlall is suggesting that the motions by Greenidge should not be entertained and allow to be placed on the Order Paper for Debate.
In seeking to emphasize his point further, Nandlall pointed to one of the resolve clauses in Greenidge’s motion that spoke to NICIL and sought to give a deadline by which time the substantive Ministers are to act in relation to his Parliamentary edict.
This deadline, Nandlall said, has been overtaken by time, but Greenidge made no attempt in the House as the debate wrapped up to have this anomaly amended.
As it relates to some of the information Greenidge is requesting by way of the motion, Nandlall questioned why none of the available Parliamentary avenues that can produce tangible results are being used.
The Minister of Legal Affairs pointed to the Sectoral Committees of Parliament.
These committees, such as those dealing with Public Accounts or Economic Services, have the power to subpoena public officials for information to be turned over, but according to Nandlall this option is yet to be explored by Greenidge, who instead forges ahead with a motion that will inevitably yield no results.
The Attorney General spoke also of simply asking formal questions in the Parliament where subject Ministers are made to openly respond. Greenidge is yet to utilize any of the avenues available to him according to Nandlall, but instead pursues “sterile, superfluous” motions which at times even propose to violate the laws.
He spoke of the Independent Audit of NICIL that Greenidge intimated he is pushing for.
Nandlall reminded that according to the laws of Guyana this cannot happen and further charged that the Audit Office by Constitution is already the independent Auditor for Government entities.
The Government’s Legal Advisor says that the laws of Guyana prohibit any such action and further direct that it is the Audit Office of Guyana which has to undertake audits of NICIL.
Nandlall did concede that as it relates to the reports and financial statements for NICIL there are delays which have been explained in the past, but stressed that this is an issue being worked on.
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