King moves to have Sooba formally removed as Town Clerk

City Hall’s Royston King on Tuesday made an application in the High Court which could lead to the formal removal of his Town Clerk rival Carol Sooba in line with a ruling that was made last month by acting Chief Justice Ian Chang.

It was the latest in a flurry of litigation embarked upon by King, Sooba and the State over who should be Town Clerk.

King is praying for a rule nisi to be issued to Sooba and Local Government Minister Norman Whittaker to show cause why an information in the nature of a quo warranto (a writ formerly requiring a person to show by what authority he/she exercises a public office) should not be exhibited against Sooba.

On April 10, Chief Justice Chang in a ruling had quashed Sooba’s appointment as Town Clerk saying that former local Government Minister Ganga Persaud did not have the lawful authority to appoint anyone. Justice Chang had also said that King’s suit did not challenge Sooba’s authority as the appointee of the minister to the office but rather the decision of the minister in appointing her to that office. “It is not her authority which is challenged in these proceedings…rather it is the authority of the minister,” he said.

Further, Justice Chang had said that his decision did not prevent Sooba from continuing to perform the functions of Town Clerk as the “de facto” Town Clerk since a direct challenge was needed to bring her de facto tenure to an end.

It is this direct challenge that King has now embarked upon. In the legal documents seen by this newspaper, King through his lawyer Nigel Hughes made the application to determine by what authority Sooba claims to exercise the functions of Town Clerk for the Georgetown Municipality “on the basis that the Minister of Local Government was possessed of no authority to appoint her to act in the position of Town Clerk….”

The Chief Justice had also said that Persaud’s decision to appoint Sooba as the Town Clerk was “ultra vires” since that responsibility was vested in the Local Government Service Commission, although it has never been set up.

King in his affidavit said that it has been one month since the decision and the Local Government Minister has “failed and or refused to appoint any members to the Local Government Commission” and that he has since been advised that Sooba’s appointment is flawed and must be vacated. Subsequent to King filing the writ on Tuesday, Sooba also filed an application in the High Court and secured eight temporary orders to suspend City Hall’s recent decision to appoint King as Town Clerk.

The orders were granted by Justice Chang. Stabroek News has learnt that Justice Chang has since recused himself from the matter. The matter was subsequently heard before Justice Yonette Cummings and lawyers for Sooba and King were given leave to file affidavits.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader David Granger at a press conference yesterday said that the coalition is fully in support of King’s appointment. “The entire process involving the Ministry of Local Government is badly flawed and it constitutes an unusual intervention into the work of City Hall with the intention of frustrating the elected councilors.”


“We are fully in support of the elected council and we are in support of the appointment of Mr Royston King as Town Clerk and we feel that the whole purpose of local democracy is to ensure that those persons who are elected are allowed to choose the officers who are going to administer the city council. It is quite clear that the appointment of Ms Sooba has caused a great deal of mismanagement at City Hall…. The way to solve the problem is to remove Ms Sooba,” he said.

Latest in Local News

default placeholder

Canal No.1 man shot in robbery

The police in ‘D’ Division say they are investigating a shooting incident during a robbery which occurred at 0100h. today committed on Shamiran Tebonie, 36 years, of Dudley Park, Canal No.

default placeholder

Guyana Goldfields in deal to expand production

Gold production at the Canadian-owned Guyana Goldfields Inc (GGI) for the first half of this year has been estimated at 75,000 ounces and the company has entered an agreement to expand the capacity of its Aurora mine in Cuyuni/Mazaruni.

default placeholder

Stealth flight plane grounded in Anguilla

One of two planes that left Guyana illegally under the cover of darkness on Saturday has been given clearance to leave Anguilla and the other was grounded in the British overseas territory, Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson has said.

The remains of the home Satesh Jagmohan was occupying when tragedy struck

De Willem teen burns to death in house fire

A 19-year-old labourer perished in a mysterious fire which destroyed a two-bedroom house in the De Willem, West Coast Demerara (WCD) squatting area on Saturday night.

default placeholder

ExxonMobil set to drill more oil wells

American oil firm ExxonMobil will be drilling more wells after an appraisal well confirmed the presence of a significant deposit of oil in the location close to where the first well was drilled.

default placeholder

Implement anti-discrimination laws quickly – outgoing US Embassy Deputy

It is important that Guyana move quickly to enact anti-discrimination laws as discrimination and homophobia “is a very real problem” for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LBGT) community here, outgoing Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy here, Bryan Hunt has said.

Ishaan Caines

Coverden cop dies in Bamia accident

A police rank died on Saturday afternoon after he lost control of the car he was driving and it flipped over in the vicinity of the Bamia Creek on the Linden/Soesdyke highway.

A section of the gathering (Ministry of the Presidency photo)

Protected zones to be set up in all 10 regions

President David Granger on Friday said that protected areas will be established in all 10 regions of the country. The Ministry of the Presidency said in a release on Saturday that he was speaking at the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana’s (THAG) President’s Awards Ceremony 2016.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: