Winston Brassington, the Chairman of controversial government holding company, NICIL has been sent on leave with immediate effect to facilitate investigations by the Guyana Police Force and the Special Organised Crime Unit stemming from the audit report recently done on the entity.
This was announced today at a press conference at the Ministry of the Presidency hosted by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon. Brassington’s deputy, Marcia Nadir-Sharma has also been sent on leave.
“In Cabinet’s view there is sufficient information, provided in the report to the agencies, for them to explore further and basically dig deeper,” Harmon, who made the announcement at a post cabinet press briefing, stated.
Harmon said that he did not want to “second guess what the police would find” but said the two agencies were given the documents regarding NICIL to ascertain if any “criminality” was involved in the management of NICIL.
The decision comes two months after the forensic audit into National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) by former Auditor General Anand Goolsarran had been submitted to the government. The audit had found a series of occurrences which Goolsarran had recommended that action be taken where necessary for criminal charges to be laid. In recent weeks the government has faced persistent question as to why it hadn’t acted on the report.
Brassington’s sending on leave comes two days after he held a defiant press conference in which he rejected many of the assertions contained in Goolsarran’s report.
“As far as I know, and in good faith, I have not broken any laws and if Mr Goolsarran is suggesting it, then I believe I have a clear defence on why what we did was properly done and we should not be held responsible and the only way this matter can be determined is if this matter goes to court and be heard and no one has ever challenged us,” he had told reporters at a press conference held at his office.