Dec 30, 2016 News
Attorney General, Basil Williams’s contention that the lease held by Cheddi Jagan Research Centre Incorporated (CJRCI) for use of the Red House is invalid, is extremely flawed and rooted in ignorance of the law.
So said former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall as he sought to validate what some call a “hijacking” by the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C).
Recently, Williams said that the arrangement is invalid and the President of Guyana, David Granger, can revoke the lease. Some reasoning put forward by Williams included the fact that the then President Donald Ramotar did not sanction the lease. Nandlall took issue with that and other reasons established by Williams.
The former AG said that the contention that the lease is invalid because the President “did not ‘sanction’ it, is an argument that is manifestly wrong.”
Nandlall said that any person who has but a fleeting familiarity with the State Lands Act and the Regulations made there under, as well as the Land Department Act, the MMA/ADA Act and similar type legislation, would know that although the 5power to lease, sell or grant licenses in relation to lands which fall under these legislation, resides with the President, the legislation provides for the President to delegate such authority to the Commissioner of Lands and Surveys, the Commissioner of Forestry or the Commissioner of Geology and Mines or the Manager of the MMA/DA, this would depend on the nature of the land and the purpose for which it is to be used.
The former Attorney General said that the practice of delegating these responsibilities to subordinate functionaries is one that started since the tenure of President Arthur Chung, and has continued on to this day.
“So, while the President’s name may appear on the face of a lease in relation to State Lands, the President’s signature is not at the end of the lease. Instead, some authorized public officer signs for the President. I have seen leases, for State land issued by President Granger which does not bear his signature and I can make one public at any time.”
Nandlall said that these authorizations are normally published in the Official Gazette. “I recall, not so long ago such authorization was published, authorizing the current Commissioner of Lands and Surveys to sign such documents on behalf of President Granger.
The same thing was done in relation to President Ramotar and the then Commissioner of Lands, Mr. Doorga Persaud.” Nandlall pointed out that this authority also authorizes the Commissioner of Lands and Survey to enter into leases on behalf of the Government in relation to Government lands.
The Red House Lease, falls into this category. The argument therefore, that the President did not sanction it, is hopelessly wrong.
The former Attorney General pointed to another argument advanced by Williams which is that the Red House Lease was not executed before a Court or Judge and filed, as of record, in the Deeds Registry as is required by Section 13 of the Deeds Registry Act, and therefore, it is invalid.
He said, “The author of that opinion either deliberately, or through inadvertence, failed to disclose that Section 13 of the Deeds Registry Act, contains a proviso, which states that the Section does not apply to leases for State lands (and Government lands). Thousands of persons who hold leases for State lands, including rice farmers, loggers and those who hold leases for land for other agricultural purposes will confirm that, they never appeared before a Court of Judge when they received their leases, and that their leases were never filed at the Deeds Registry. This is so because there is no such legal requirement.”
According to Nandlall, the other arguments advanced by Williams hold no weight in law and are even more frivolous. Accordingly, they are unworthy of a response.
The PPP/C administration had spent tens of millions of dollars to renovate the building which remained state property until 2012. In that year, the land and the building were leased by the PPP government to the company.
The lease agreement has duration of 99 years at a cost of only $1000 monthly.
This will add up to $12,000 per year and $1,188,000 over the 99-year period. This will not be even a quarter of what was spent to build, renovate and maintain the building over the years.
Jan 19, 2021Kaieteur News – The Guyana Golf Association (GGA) in collaboration with the Nexgen Golf Academy has acquired land to establish the first of their planned five uniquely designed golf facilities...
Jan 19, 2021
Jan 19, 2021
Jan 19, 2021
Jan 18, 2021
Jan 18, 2021
Kaieteur News – The material on which to build one’s analyses of the year 2020 is literally mountainous. There is... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]