Dec 02, 2020 News
Kaieteur News – Senior Counsel John Jeremie, one of the lead attorneys arguing in the elections petition case has asked the High Court to ignore the purported late service of documents on Former Presidential Candidate of the A Partnership for National Unity +Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) party, David Granger.
Jeremie, who is representing petitioners Claudette Thorne and Heston Botswick as well as Monica Thomas and Brennan Nurse in the matters, petition 88 of 2020 and petition 99 of 2020 respectively, was at the time responding to claims contained in a preliminary application by Attorney General, Anil Nandlall to strike out the elections petitions.
Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George-Wiltshire who is presiding over the case has already set January 18, 2021 to rule on the preliminary issue.
In his submissions before the Court yesterday, Jeremie said that the issue of late or defective service upon which Nandlall based his application to strike out the petition to vitiate the results of the March 2, 2020 regional and general polls should be interpreted as nothing more than a careless blunder on the part of the petitioners.
As such, he urged the Court to pay attention to “the actual evidence “and not just the information led from attorneys at the bar table.”
According to the lawyer, though the evidence presented by Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes, lawyer for PPP/C Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo speaks to a contradiction in dates in the affidavit and dates of acknowledgement of service, “The affidavit is the evidence. The acknowledgement of service is not evidence.”
Based on the arguments of the PPP/C lawyers, Granger is believed to have been served on September 25, 2020, although he should have been served by September 20, 2020 – five business days after the petition was filed on September 15.
Mendes had previously told the Court that the evidence in the date of service to Granger and the date of Granger’s acknowledgement were contradictory and unreliable. According to the lawyer, the evidence, which included a signed document by Granger himself, acknowledging receipt, shows that the documents were not served within the legally prescribed period.
“The petitioner is arguing that the document was prepared on September 15 but all the other documents including one which Granger himself signed shows that it was served on September 25,” the lawyer had pointed out on Monday.
However, Jeremie in his arguments emphasized that, “The acknowledgement is not what the law requires to be served. What the law requires to be served under Rule 95 is an affidavit of service… that is complied with.”
He claimed that the service was effective on the 18th of September, but the clerical error was contained in the affidavit of Brenann Nurse.
“All of the respondents were served between September 16 and 18, 2020… There was a typographical error because she could not serve the document on the 24, if that document was signed on September 25,” Jeremie added.
He said too, as it regards the service, that the petitioner failed to check the date, which Granger affixed to the document acknowledging receipt. The lawyer therefore proposed the Court look closer at the evidence.
“Not to inference. Not to suggestion. Not to evidence given from the bar table. But to the evidence which is before this court,” asserted Jeremie.
Further, the attorney said that the contradiction between the acknowledgement/return of service should not be interpreted as fraud, as appears to be the claim of the lawyers representing the PPP/C.
“When we allege fraud, we must do it boldly…if what my learned friend is saying is true, then this is more than fraud, it is criminal conduct but that has not been established. They have asked the court to believe that wrong things happened and lies under oath have been perpetrated by citizens of Guyana,” Jeremie posited.
On this point, he insisted that Granger was served on September 24, 2020 and it was Granger himself who signed the wrong date at the acknowledgement document.
The Chief Justice then interjected that “usually if one is dating something and it has the incorrect date, it would be the day before and not the day after…to advance oneself to the next day and write the 25 seems a bit strange.”
Jeremie, in response, agreed “it may seem a bit strange” but claimed that he can only tell the court that he too sometimes has same difficulty in remembering the date.
“I have the same difficulty and would sometimes place the wrong date on documents,” the lawyer added.
He said however that in relation to the other points, he will rely on the submissions of Roysdale Forde and Mayo Robertson, the other attorneys representing the petitioners.
In brief response to the submissions, AG Nandlall said the explanations by Jeremie were not satisfactory enough against his request to strike the elections petition.
“The affidavit itself has contradictions. We are not alleging fraud and perjury. We are simply making comments, as we are entitled to do, based upon the evidence they have presented. They have the responsibility of proving they have affected service within the prescribed time,” Nandlall said.
He said that under the circumstances, the Court should uphold his application to strike out the matter.
Jan 25, 2021Selected grounds across Guyana to be converted to Leisure and Recreational Parks Despite the ongoing challenges being presented by covid-19, Minister of Culture Youth and Sport (MCYS) Charles Ramson...
Jan 25, 2021
Jan 25, 2021
Jan 24, 2021
Jan 24, 2021
Jan 24, 2021
Kaieteur News – Once again, I lament the horrible levels of mediocrity in Guyanese journalism. I do not believe you... more
Kaieteur News – A new era of broadcasting has emerged but will a new breed of broadcasters arise. There is now a multiplicity... 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]