Oct 01, 2022 News
– says will not be bullied to commit any illegality
By Allyiah Allicock
Kaieteur News – The Beterverwagting/Triumph Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) on Friday made it clear that it has refunded John Fernandes Limited (JFL) a total of $20 million for a 143-acre plot of land it had illegally sold to the company in November last year since it was not the NDC’s property to sell.
This is according to the NDC Chairman, Jimmaul Bagot who provided an update on the issue during a press conference on Friday. Mr. Bagot was joined by one NDC Councillors Mr. Neville Cumberbatch who provided a brief overview of the matter.
According to Cumberbatch, last year, the NDC received a proposal from JFL the plot of land at the backlands of the Beterverwagting community. The land in question is a 143 acres plot located at Section ‘G’, Beterverwagting (BV), East Coast Demerara.
It was revealed that the land was being sold for some $34 million but according to the agreement, the company had to pay $20 million to the NDC on signing the agreement and the remainder was to be paid when the transport was processed. However, the agreement for the sale of the land was withdrawn after NDC officials learnt that the land was not owned by the NDC but rather by a number of residents in the community.
The councillor said that when they saw the proposal, they thought it was one of the best proposals since it entails the development of that area. “…that arrangement we thought it was kind of the best proposal coming out to us and so we embarked on the sale with them for the sale of the land,” he explained.
Cumberbatch further stated that before anything was done, the NDC had sought clarity from the Deeds Registry as to the ownership of the land and was informed that, “the NDC is still in control by way of the crown grant that was given to the NDC.”
However, he noted after a number of persons indicated to the Council, some by way of transport, that they have lands at Section ‘G’, Cumberbatch said that the NDC made further checks at the registry.
“And this time, we sent one of our staff to verify the information and after verifying the information that we cannot go on with the sale, we did ensure that we pass the necessary information to John Fernandes as to the reasons why we would not have the ability to proceed,” he said.
Cumberbatch maintained that when the Council looked at the proposal, “we thought that it would have offered tremendous benefit to the residents of BV.”
“Nevertheless, even though the proposal was sound what we recognised is that the land had a number of owners, we immediately embarked on an avenue to have the sale rescinded,” he briefed.
Meanwhile, Chairman Bagot expressed concern because persons are now trying to bully the Council regarding land sale matter.
“Unfortunately, it has not come to an end… I don’t know if you guys can recall a while back that John Fernandes would have published a notice in the Stabroek newspaper where they would have indicated that they have no interest, they are distancing their selves from any agent or anyone whatsoever who are claiming to have some vested interest in the lands located in Section ‘G’ Beterverwagting. To our surprise here at the BV NDC, we receive a court document from Mohamed’s Sons and Daughters Trading,” he explained.
According to the Chairman, the document the NDC received is where a Deed of Assignment was granted to Mohamed’s Sons and Daughter by JFL, and that the “Deed of Assignment was basically handing all interest and rights to the land located in section ‘G’, Beterverwagting to Mohamed’s Sons and Daughter.”
He further stated that Mohamed’s Sons and Daughter had sent the Council a fixed date application last Friday, where they are indicating that they want to go through with the sale of the land located in Section ‘G’.
“What is imperative to note is that in the Deed of Assignment that was granted to Mohamed’s Sons and Daughter by John Fernandes, the consideration for the portion of land is zero, so there is no consideration , no value attach to it…Mohamed’s Sons and Daughter…is claiming to have a legal document signed by senior persons within John Fernandes and registered at the court who are pursuing these lands,” Bagot informed the media operatives.
Bagot said that with the new development, he is making it clear to the people of BV and Triumph that, “the land issue with John Fernandes has not been aired out…the BV/Triumph NDC would not be bullied to commit any act of illegality.”
The Chairman noted too that should this matter reach the courts, the NDC will defend it to the end.
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