Narine Singh, a farmer of Canal Number Two Polder, West Bank Demerara (WBD), found himself on the opposite side of the law when he was charged with operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s licence.The 55-year-old man admitted that on December 25, 2017, at the Meer Zorgen, WBD Public Road, he operated motor vehicle GTT 1699 without a driver’s licence which was also in breach of insurance.The farmer in his explanation before Magistrate Annette Singh at the Wales Magistrate’s Court said the van is normally driven by his wife, claiming that at the time, he did not know that his licence was expired. After listening to his explanation, Magistrate Singh fined him $20,000 for the unlicensed driver charge and $25,000 for breach of insurance. The farmer was informed that he would spend one month in jail if he did not pay the fines.
North Ruimveldt granny murderThe High Court trial of Second Street, Crane Housing Scheme, West Coast Demerara resident Kevon Alfred was halted on Wednesday, foMurder accused: Kevon Alfredllowing the withdrawal of his attorney, Senior Counsel Stanley Moore.Presiding Judge, Justice Navindra Singh informed the 12-member jury of thelawyer being unable to continue the case due to “other obligations”. Alfred was given time to secure another attorney and Justice Singh adjourned the matter to Monday for an update.Alfred stands accused of murdering 75-year-old Joyce Lewis on March 26, 2014, at her Lot 3630 Christiani Street, North Ruimveldt, Georgetown home. According to reports, Lewis’s lifeless body was found in her home by Police and her sister, Veronica Deen on the morning ofMurdered Pensioner: Joyce LewisMarch 26.Five months after the woman was killed, Alfred was arrested and charged with the murder. He was committed to stand trial in the High Court on October 19, 2015 by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan.The State’s case is being presented by Prosecutors Tiffini Lyken, Abigail Gibbs and Narissa Leander. The State is expected to call several witnesses when the trial commences on Wednesday.
A taxi driver who reportedly stole an iPhone from a passenger found himself before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on Tuesday.Thirty-six-year-old Winston Matthews of Bel Air Village, East Coast Demerara (ECD), denied that he stole the smartphone valued $60,000 from Phillip Poona on February 22, 2018.According to his Attorney, Stanley Moore, his client was hired by the Virtual Complainant (VC). However, after Poona exited the vehicle, he found that his phone was missing.Attorney Moore added that his client denied carrying out the act. He noted that anyone could have picked up the said phone if it was left in the cab.As such, Moore made an application for reasonable bail as his client had already been placed on $20,000 station bail.Magistrate Judy Latchman granted Matthews $40,000 bail. He is expected to return to court on March 26, 2018.
The owner of a car rental business was on Wednesday placed on $300,000 after he appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts before Magistrate Fabayo Azore to answer to three counts of forged chassis numbers on Toyota Premio motorcars.The court heard that Osafo Yarde, between March 19 and 21, at Georgetown, used fake chassis numbers on three Toyota Premio motor cars.Yarde however denied the allegations after the facts were read to him.Defence Attorney Glen Hanoman told the court that his client is the owner of K&O Car Rental, and he usually purchases used cars.He further noted that he bought the vehicles from a man for $2,500,000 each.Hanoman stated that there were witnesses present when an agreement of sale contract was signed with the seller of the motorcars.The Police Prosecutor objected to bail being granted, stating that additional charges are to be instituted against the accused. However, Yarde was released on $300,000 bail.He is expected to return to court on May 30.
Essequibo River accidentThe body of a missing boat captain who drowned after the boat in which he was travelling capsized in the vicinity of the Essequibo River on Monday has been recovered.Dead is Junior Benjamin of Fairview Village, Kurupukari, Upper Essequibo River, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice). Benjamin’s partially decomposed body was recovered by Police at about 16:00h on Thursday in the vicinity of Levi Falls, Siparuni River.The incident had led to an investigation by Police in E (Linden-Kwakwani) and F (Interior locations) Divisions.According to the Police, at about 14:00h on Monday, the boat captain along with three other men left Mabura in a boat which began to encounter difficulties with its engine while travelling along the Essequibo River.At the time, the men who work at Mabura were reportedly in the vicinity of Levi Falls, heading to the Ewing Backdam.After the boat capsized, the three other occupants reportedly swam to shore, however, checks revealed that Benjamin was nowhere to be found. E Division Commander Linden Lord on Wednesday noted that Police attached to the Mabura Police Station received information about the incident at about 17:30h on Tuesday. Lord on Friday noted that the body of the deceased has since been handed over to relatives for his burial.Lord noted that upon the request of Benjamin’s family, no post mortem examination was conducted.
Magistrate Leron Daly on Friday dismissed 10 charges against several SuperBet operators after the Guyana Police Force’s prosecutors failed to provide evidence that they had jurisdiction to investigate and charge the operators.Following civil proceedings filed by Guiana Holding Inc at the High Court to reverse the decision of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), which requires that the company submits a Certificate of Good Standing as a condition prior to the issuance of a Betting Shop licence under the provisions of the Tax Act, several SuperBet operators, specifically in the areas of Georgetown and the East Bank of Demerara, were summoned to appear in court on Friday to answer charges filed by the Guyana Police Force (GPF).The Georgetown agents: Devanand Singh, Rhonda Josiah, Kurt Sunich and Devendra Gangaran, all appeared before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on Friday last; while the East Bank agents, namely: Roumayne Dunn, Lachman Fredrick, Jessica William and Hamauth Satayadeo, appeared before the Providence Magistrate’s Court.They are being represented by Attorney Anil Nandlall. At the initial hearing, Nandlall made objection to the charges being read on the ground that the Police have no jurisdiction to prosecute revenue charges.The charges were not read, and Magistrate Daly, at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, adjourned the matter to Friday August 16, and asked the Police to provide evidence that they were authorised to prosecute.When the case was called again, the Police Prosecutors failed to provide the requested evidence, and instead argued that the Police Act empowers the Guyana Police Force to investigate and institute charges of any kind.However, defense attorney Nandlall countered this with the fact that the Guyana Revenue Authority is the sole entity authorised to prosecute revenue-type charges.“I pointed out that is so except where another Act provides for another agency to prosecute, especially a law that is passed after the Police Act. The Guyana Revenue Authority was created by the Guyana Revenue Authority Act of 2000, and that Act authorises the Revenue Authority to charge persons and to prosecute persons for offences in relation to revenue.“The charges that SuperBet were slapped with were charges under the Tax Act. They were revenue-type charges, therefore only the Guyana Revenue Authority is authorised in law to prosecute and institute the charges.“The Magistrate upheld my submissions and dismissed the 10 charges,” Nandlall told Guyana Times in a post-hearing interview.In addition, Nandlall underscored that pending the dismissal of the charges, the persons charged will be advised to sue the Police and Attorney General for compensation for malicious prosecution.The matters are being heard before Magistrate Sunil Scarce at the Providence Magistrate’s Court, and will be heard on September 02, after the Police Prosecutors there requested more time in order to obtain advice.
In support of the arts and culture, Clemsville Music Conservatory two Sundays ago held its 15th Annual Recital And Awards Ceremony at the National Cultural Centre in Georgetown.Adaeze Lumumba receiving her “student of the decade” awardThe elegant and aesthetic affair saw vocal performances by students as well as on strings and wind instruments.However, the highlight of the event were the presentations of the Associate Board of the Royal Schools of Music’s (ABRSM) certificates by High Commissioner of India, His Excellency Dr KJ Srinivasa, and trophies by US Ambassador to Guyana, Her Excellency, Sarah-Ann Lynch, and Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Barton Scotland, to the students who achieved distinctions.Nevertheless, Adaeze Lumumba was honoured as “student of the decade”. She obtained a distinction from grade one to eight in piano without any repeats.Meanwhile, several other awards were given out to top performers.
New Demerara River Crossing…says highly suspect contract could lead to criminal chargesNow that Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson has indicated that the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) had funded the Feasibility Report for the $146 million New Demerara River Crossing, that international financial institution is being called on to make a public statement on the matter, in light of the different pronouncements being made.Opposition Chief Whip, Gail TeixeiraThe People’s Progressive Party, on Friday, through its Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira, made the demand of the IDB in light of its reputation and adherence to procedures—procedures that Teixeira insists appear to have been flouted by the Public Infrastructure Ministry.Teixeira on Friday met with members of the local press corps, along with Member of Parliament Bishop Juan Edghill, to call on the IDB to make public its involvement in the entire sordid affair which is now mired in controversy.“The credibility of the IDB is now at stake,” Teixeira said, as the Members of Parliament questioned how exactly the Public Infrastructure Ministry came to know of the Dutch consultants it eventually paid to undertake the study.Public Infrastructure Minister David PattersonBishop Egdhill, in questioning the choice of the company and how the ministry came to know of the company, pointed out that the company was not even interested in providing an Expression of Interest in the project when the ministry first advertised for the feasibility study.Patterson, in what was described as a knee-jerk reaction to a publicised complaint and call for a formal investigation to be done by the Public Procurement Commission (PPC), had issued a public statement which essentially confirmed that Government did in fact hand-pick the Dutch consultants.According to Patterson, with funding from the IDB, the ministry advertised the Consultancy for Feasibility Study and Design for the new Demerara River Bridge, and 22 entities expressed their interest.Twelve of the 22 firms were subsequently shortlisted, but according to Minister Patterson, only two submitted bids; and of the two submissions, only one firm had a valid bid, albeit the firm’s bid price exceeded the US$800,000 budget.He said, too, that concerns were also raised on the technical level.Minister Patterson said the Public Infrastructure Ministry subsequently made the decision to annul the process in May, following permission from the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) and the Finance Ministry.The Opposition has since demanded the minutes and documentation verifying all of what Patterson has claimed, including the authorization issued by the NPTAB.In demanding the minutes of meetings and other pertinent documentation, Edghill also demanded the evaluation report for the company to undertake the project, and questioned against which companies the report was compared, since the process had been annulled in the first instance.Teixeira, in addressing the matter on Friday, firstly pointed to the fact that had the PPP not complained very publicly to the Procurement Commission, the information divulged by Patterson would not have seen the light of day.She was adamant that the Administration has never made public the fact that it had discarded the original tenders for the project, and had in fact instead hand-picked a consultant.Pointing to the Administration’s penchant for retendering for projects—a situation which has led to the abysmal implementation of any of its annual budgets—she said there is no record of a contract being awarded to any company, including the Dutch consultants that eventually prepared the report.According to Teixeira, the explanations given by Minister Patterson have simply mired the contract in even more controversy, and makes the contract even more highly suspect. “And in my view, (this) could lead to criminal charges,” she expressed.Teixeira said that by Minister Patterson’s own admission, he is making the situation worse, and she pointed to the fact that his public statement is the first to implicate the IDB in the process.As such, Teixeira told media operatives, “If this is so: that the IDB was funding the feasibility study – and, at this point, we can’t believe anything the Government is saying, because we are now being overloaded with lies, in a sense — if that is so that the IDB is funding it, what is at stake now is the credibility of the IDB.”The Opposition Chief Whip was adamant, “It is important for the IDB to say, ‘yes,’ they were funding this project; two: that they approved this process.”She recalled that the IDB has its own procurement laws, which would dictate that the matter cannot be simply transported to the level of Cabinet.Teixeira reminded that, before the Cabinet is allowed to have a voice in the matter, the NPTAB must first write to the IDB, which would then decide on approvals before it can be transmitted to the Cabinet for its no objection.Insisting that the local procurement laws had been flouted, the Opposition Chief Whip was quick to also point out that she was not in any way attacking the Dutch company, but rather the process used by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure.Teixeira, in writing to the Public Procurement Commission calling for an investigation, had pointed out to the constitutional body that part of Guyana’s international obligations under the Inter-American Convention against Corruption was to ensure that there was transparency and accountability, in order to enhance public trust and confidence, particularly in respect to the public procurement process.
– post-mortem proves elderly women were strangledFour persons – three males and one female — have been arrested in connection with the murder of 87-year-old Constance Fraser and 75-year-old Phyllis Caesar, whose bodies were discovered in their home at South Road and Albert Street, Georgetown.Two of the four have since confessed to the heinous crime, while the Police haveConstance Frasercontinued to grill the others.It was reported that the bodies of Fraser, known as “Mother Fraser”, and Caesar, her niece, were found in the wee hours of Tuesday.The women were found in the upper flat of the home, in their respective bedrooms, lying unconscious on their beds. Caesar’s hands and legs were bound, and a piece of cloth stuffed in her mouth.Police confirmed that the house was ransacked, which suggested that the murders stemmed from a robbery. In addition, detectives confirmed that the perpetrators may have gained entry to the home via the western door.According to reports, Caesar failed to report to her place of worship as is customary, prompting several attempts to contact the duo, all of which were to no avail. A congregation member then alerted the Police and together, they ventured into the home and discovered the two dead women.The elderly women were last seen alive while attending church on Monday evening.Congregation members crowded the street after news of the discovery spread and they informed Guyana Times that on multiple occasions, bandits broPhyllis Caesarke into the home of the two defenceless elderly women. During the most recent attack justabout a month ago, the criminals took off with a cellular phone as well as a quantity of cash.Meanwhile, the autopsy done on the bodies of the two women proved that they died as a result of asphyxiation due to suffocation and manual strangulation compounded with trauma to the head. The post-mortem was performed by local pathologist, Dr Nehaul Singh.
– Jagdeo confident in ethnic, gender balanceNomination Day is out of the way and People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo has revealed that over 3000 candidates have been put forward by his party to contest local elections in all 80 Local Authority Areas (LAAs).PPP General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo (centre) with a segment of candidates from across the country. To his immediate left is Campaign Manager Zulfikar Mustapha and to his right, parliamentary Chief Whip Gail TeixeiraThis was expressed at a press conference held at Freedom House on Monday. At the press conference, PPP representatives from all across Guyana were present. According to Jagdeo, a special effort was made to have a list that reflected ethnic, class and gender balance. “We said we want the list to reflect a balance between PPP members and members of civil society … retired teachers, Policemen, retired headmasters, other prominent individuals in the community, people who committed to do social work,” he explained.“We have many who are active in local government bodies but who are not members of our parties. They may be sympathisers but not members of the Party. And we wanted them included on our list, because they have a great contribution to make in the development of their communities. That was the first principle we established.”The second principle, according to Jagdeo, was that the list must reflect Guyana. The General Secretary noted that everyone from the intellectual to the fisherman has a role to play in developing their communities. Thus, efforts to include them were made.“So, we insisted on ethnic balance. We wanted youth and experience. And you’ll see that reflected in our candidates. We wanted more women on our lists. We wanted religious and class balance. We didn’t want all intellectuals and no farmers or fishermen, because they have a role too,” the General Secretary expounded.“Were we perfect in this situation? No. We sought as far as possible to observe these principles. In many areas, after selecting 3000 candidates, it’s a very difficult process. And so many communities, we’ve had multiple names. And some we accommodated on the PR [Proportional Representation] and constituency component.”Enormous taskBesides the thousands of candidates, the General Secretary related that there were approximately 20,000 backers – demonstrative of the enormous task before the Party. According to Jagdeo, the Party will contest all Local Authority Area, even the ones whose creation caused PPP to launch court challenges.Jagdeo noted that 70 of the 71 areas were contested in 2016. According to the General Secretary, this time around some 80 areas were created through gerrymandering. But Jagdeo made it clear that this time around the Party would contest every single area, including the areas that were newly created.“You know of our concerns about the creation of new local government bodies…that matter is before the courts now, but you’ll recall APNU said we’re worried about contesting in these areas, that is why we went to the courts. We went to the courts to uphold the Constitution and the laws of Guyana. Because it seems that only the PPP as a political party has the mandate now to do this.”“No other political party is defending the citizens’ rights. And we’re defending the right of citizens to be consulted when you alter their boundaries. Notwithstanding that, we are contesting the LGE in all 80 areas, including the areas that were newly created,” Jagdeo said.Nomination Day was held on September 21 and the three parties, coupled with independents, submitted their list of candidates. The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is in receipt of 61 symbols from these entities, all having thrown their hats into the ring.