Assemblyman for Canaan/Bon Accord, Clarence Jacob, Secretary of Settlements, Urban Renewal and Public Utilities in the Tobago House of Assembly. (Image courtesy Assemblyman for Canaan/Bon Accord, Clarence Jacob)

The Tobago House of Assembly’s Secretary of Settlements, Urban Renewal and Public Utilities Clarence Jacob, has taken steps towards legal action against persons responsible for sharing what he describes as a “defamatory attack”  against him.

Guardian Media understands that a voice note of 14.3 minutes duration alleging misbehaviour in public office by Secretary Jacob, began circulating last weekend and has been widely shared on WhatsApp.

In the voice note, two men who called each other’s name, along with the Secretary’s, allege that the Secretary was involved in fraud involving the Home Improvement Grant, which falls under the remit of the Secretary’s office.

Subsequently, Secretary Jacob—who also is the Area Representative for the Canaan/Bon Accord electoral district—posted the men’s photos on his official THA Facebook page, with a message.

“WAIT FOR THE AFTERSHOCK! Breathe easy Canaan/Bon Accord (BREATHE EASY),” the message read.

On October 12th, the Secretary’s lawyer Vashisht Seepersad sent a pre-action protocol letter to the men—Daniel McDougall of Canaan, and Basil Cox of Bon Accord.

It said the men were responsible for a “defamatory, malicious, scandalous and highly irresponsible attack” on the Secretary’s character, as they were directly or indirectly responsible for sharing the voice note.

The men have seven days to acknowledge receiving the letter, and 14 days to respond to the legal threat.