Aug 18, 2017 News
– asking for punitive damages as well
A cross-appeal has been filed by Maurice Arjoon, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of New Building Society (NBS), who is asking for an increase of damages by $18M and an award of general damages.
According to court documents, Arjoon, who was awarded $79M in outstanding pensions and other payments in July, has named NBS, Trust Company (Guyana) Limited, Executor of the Estate of Ahmad Khan, deceased; director Seepaul Narine and Nizam Mohamed, a senior official, as appellants (defendants).
NBS earlier this month appealed the $79M award, claiming that the judge erred in how he arrived at his decision.
According to attorney-at-law, Edward Luckhoo, in court documents filed for the former CEO, Judge Brassington Reynolds who had made the award, erred in not giving his client damages for the loss of earning and allowances for the period from the date of dismissal to the date of expiration of his contract of employment. The claim is also that the judge erred in not awarding general damages for wrongful dismissal.
The cross-appeal is arguing for the award of $8.9M for loss of earnings for the period 13/6/2007- 28/2/2008; $7.6M for loss of allowances for the period 13/6/2007 to 28/2/2008 and
$1.6M being leave pay and passage assistance for the years 2006 and 2007.
“The judge ought to have awarded general damages for wrongful dismissal as well as punitive and exemplary damages having regards to the circumstances of dismissal,” the court documents said.
Arjoon, and two of his managers – Kissoon Baldeo and Kent Vincent – were all charged with stealing over $60M from NBS, the country’s leading mortgage lending institution, back in 2007.
The men were later cleared of the fraud charges and Arjoon, the former CEO, filed a High Court action, seeking his pension and other benefits. He also filed an official complaint in 2014 with former Ombudsman, Justice Winston Moore, in 2014, asking for an investigation to be launched into his wrongful arrest and charge.
Arjoon claimed he was set up, under the direction of former President Bharrat Jagdeo, because he refused to use NBS monies to finance the construction of the Berbice Bridge. Arjoon said that the use of the monies would have been illegal under NBS regulations.
After Arjoon was charged, NBS nevertheless went ahead and bought shares in the bridge, a structure that was until last year under the control of Dr. Ranjisinghi ‘Bobby’ Ramroop, a close friend of Jagdeo.
A number of board members have reportedly expressed unhappiness over the charges.
Moore, who has since passed away, in his Ombudsman report findings concluded that Arjoon and his two managers were wrongfully charged.
Kissoon Baldeo, 48, is now living in New Jersey, US, with his family.
Following news that NBS was appealing an award to pay millions in pensions, Baldeo said he is hoping to bring closure to the worst period in his life, where he was rejected for jobs, among other suffering. He was the former Assistant Mortgage Manager.
Kent Vincent, 56, is now the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the highly respected Food For The Poor (Guyana), a non-Governmental organization involved in charity work.
All three men have called on NBS to do the right thing and pay them what their benefits are, as they have been exonerated by the courts.
The Arjoon family recently expressed frustration by the appeal of NBS.
The former CEO said that the mortgage society had provided no acceptable reason why he was dismissed, and no objection on the pension claim, during the High Court case.
“I was therefore very surprised when the judge “awarded” my pension due for the past 10 years and unpaid salary, but none of the $550M in damages and consequently, it is my opinion that I won the battle, but NBS won the war.”
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