Commentary: The Nelson Affair

Spread the love
By Neil Gosine

THE budget passed Friday in the Senate was just a one without a plan except and apart from another way to tax the people, tax the people and tax people.

People are bawling at the hike in fuel prices and the increase in food prices across the country.

Now we see the current administration involved in another major catastrophe, the recent Faris/Nelson fiasco. The state witness and whistleblower King’s Counsel Vincent Nelson insisted that the then-attorney general Faris Al-Rawi promised a presidential pardon would be given to him provided that he gave evidence against former attorney general Anand Ramlogan and attorney ­Gerald Ramdeen.

Nelson has taken legal action against the Attorney General for breach of a November 2017 indemnity agreement. Nelson is now to go after the state for monies in excess of TT$100 million, claiming that Al-Rawi acted without good faith, unscrupulously and with ulterior motives for political purposes.

On October 3, the DPP discontinued criminal charges against Ramlogan and Ramdeen, former United National Congress (UNC) AG and senator respectively, as Nelson has refused to give evidence until his civil claim against the current AG is completed. Applications for the unsealing of Nelson’s civil claim have been made by Nelson himself, as well as Ramlogan and Ramdeen. Somehow Minister Stuart Young has gotten himself wrapped up in this whole fiasco being the most valuable player in the team where there are allegations that  Young at the time he was a Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General had wrongly disclosed a “notarised” statement.

I personally don’t understand this allegation or what exactly is going on here with all these complicated developments and subterfuge, all I know is that it looks like the PNM administration and the previous AG now has egg on their face, as the DPP discontinued criminal charges against Ramlogan and Ramdeen, and everyone one is scrambling now to save face.

Anyone would want to know what is really happening here and if there is going to be a formal investigation in Al-RAwi, the prime minister and whichever Cabinet members were allegedly involved in this mess.

In other jurisdictions such as Canada for example a class action lawsuit would normally be executed if anything close to this happened in the public domain. So I’m wondering if attorneys are already exploring whether a group of concerned citizens can sue the administration and their key architects for:

  • Wastage of tax dollars re: the above – breach of fiduciary duty and misbehaviour in public office by all involved.
  • Gross mismanagement of the public purse by the administration in this whole fiasco.

These types of lawsuits may not have been previously done but I’m sure are being considered by the aggrieved parties. I’m sure they are looking at their options.

The Dr Keith Rowley-led administration should understand why the general public is having reservations about his proclamation of his non-involvement in the Nelson fiasco. Anyone remembers Dr Rowley’s now-infamous statement.

 “The Government of Trinidad and Tobago is not closing down Petrotrin and in case you were opening your fridge and you didn’t hear that when you were closing the door, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago is not closing down Petrotrin!”

Petrotrin is now closed down.

Neil Gosine is an insurance executive. He is also the treasurer of the UNC and a former Chairman of the National Petroleum Marketing Company of Trinidad and Tobago. He holds a Master’s in Business Administration MBA, BSC in Mathematics and a BA in Administrative Studies. The views and comments expressed in this column are not necessarily those of AZP News, a Division of Complete Image Limited.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *