Former Police Service Commission chairman Nizam Mohammed has condemned remarks by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad- Bissessar on the Police Service Commission issue–and pointed to what he said was the “unceremonious removal” in 2012 of former police commissioner and deputy CoP Dwayne Gibbs and Jack Ewatski before their contracts ended.
In a statement yesterday, Mohammed said, “I read with utter consternation some remarks attributed to the Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar who is calling for the resignation of all the members of the Police Service Commission. She is quoted as saying that although she does not have evidence, it is clear that there is political interference regarding the appointment of a Commissioner of Police.
I reluctantly join in the current imbroglio because many remember how I was removed by her political intervention when she was Prime Minister but forget that I absolved myself by having the High Court declare that my dismissal by the President was illegal.”
He added, “She uttered not a word of regret nor did the cronies who surrounded her at the time had the conscience to do anything to remove the stain she attempted to place on my good name by abusing her political authority and misleading the then pliable President. A clear case of political interference of which she complains today.
Being the society that we are, no one saw the link between the unceremonious removal of Gibbs and Ewatski as Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner before the term of their contracts came to an end and my dismissal as vhairman of the Police Service Commission. She would have never gotten me to do that piece of work for her. The public should be told about the millions it cost the taxpayers to pay them off for work did not do. They folded their tents and quietly departed without a murmur. Was it the Police Service Commission or the Persad-Bissessar Government who did this piece of political interference?
The time has come for me to have my say as well. What is required is for the Opposition Leader to clear my name. Let her say she made a mistake and do so publicly. Only then she will not be seen as engaging in hypocrisy.
I remind her and her then cabinet colleagues that any individual who appears and testifies before the Parliamentary Committee enjoys Parliamentary Privilege for what he says. My lawyers didn’t even have to refer to this rudimentary rule to succeed before the High Court.
I await the public apology of the Opposition Leader.”