Waiting fourteen years to be appointed Justice of the Peace

Dear Editor,

On the 15th of September, 2003 under the PPP government I made an application to the Ministry of Legal Affairs to be appointed a Justice of Peace and Com-missioner of Oaths to Affidavits (JP and COA). I did the police interview twice and my application was sent to the Office of the President, but nothing happened after that.

When this new government came into office in 2015, I made an inquiry at the Ministry of the Presidency pertaining to my JP and COA application. I was advised by Tashandra Inniss in an email dated October 27, 2015 to submit a new application to the Ministry of Legal Affairs.

I submitted my application to the Ministry of Legal Affairs with references from two attorneys-at-law, Collis D Baveghems and Keavon U Bess, on November 5th, 2015.  On the 29th of February, 2016 I received a letter from the Ministry of Legal Affairs dated February 17, 2016 signed by Ms Demi Hipple asking me to go to the nearest police station for an interview and to have my fingerprints taken. I called the BV Police Station and was told to go to CID headquarters since they didn’t have any fingerprint officer at BV. I went to CID headquarters and was interviewed by CID officers who took my fingerprints and interviewed me, and sent me back with a copy of the prints to BV Police Station. There I was interviewed by Inspector Smith and CID Officer Frazer who took a two-page written statement from me.

About one month later I was called to the station to do another narcotics interview. I was informed by Inspector Smith that she had sent up my police report to CID headquarters and the Police General Office which would eventually send it to the Ministry of Legal Affairs. After a year I inquired from the Ministry of Legal Affairs about the status of my JP and COA appointment, but they said no police report had been sent to them. I called CID headquarters and they put me on to the Police General Office which in turn told me to call back BV. Then BV told me to call Cove & John Station which told me to call Sparendaam. Why all this senseless pushing around?

A police corporal from General Office told me they had found my report and were taking it to the Commissioner’s office from where it would be sent to the Ministry of Legal Affairs. I called Legal Affairs and was told it would be followed up. I completed my police interview and fingerprints on March 7th 2016 and now two years have passed with no report being sent to the Ministry of Legal Affairs. In my recent calls Legal Affairs told me my police report was still at the Commissioner’s office. When I called that office, however, they told me my police report had been sent to the Ministry of Legal Affairs months ago.

Who is telling me the truth? Is it the Ministry of Legal Affairs or is it the Guyana Police Force? I am very disappointed in the Guyana Police Force which in this day and age of technology could have easily emailed my report to the Ministry of Legal Affairs in a PDF file format in less than a week. But still today we hand-write everything. The Guyana Police Force needs to step up its game in technology and computer literacy. I note with interest our police officers hand-write everything.

From 2003 to 2017 (14 years) I am still waiting to be appointed a Justice of the Peace and Commissioner of Oaths to Affidavits. Can the Ministry of Legal Affairs follow up my police report or should I call on Commissioner (ag) David Ramnarine  to inquire as to why it was not sent over to the Ministry of Legal Affairs after nearly two years. Maybe it was sent over and misplaced. I look forward to hearing from the Guyana Police Force and the Ministry of Legal Affairs.

Yours faithfully,

Rev Gideon Cecil

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