Justice Patterson, AG’s statements evoke controversy

Dear Editor,

Mr Justice Patterson’s statements and those of the Attorney General, Mr Basil Williams, in today’s Stabroek News evoke even greater controversy. Mr Justice Patterson contends that he submitted his resignation to the President as an advisor to the Attorney General “ages ago”. Mr Justice Patterson was appointed on the 19th October 2017, a mere two months ago. Mr Justice Patterson, clearly, has an unusual method of computing time.

The Attorney General’s assertions are, characteristically, even more bizarre. It would be recalled, that relying on what the Attorney General said in the Committee of Supply on the 12th December 2017, based upon questions that I posed to him, I concluded that Mr Justice Patterson continues to function in the remunerated employment of this government as an advisor to the Attorney General, in violation of Article 161 (1) of the Constitution, which mandates the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to be a full-time post, and expressly prohibits the post holder from engaging in any other form of employment.

According to the Stabroek News report, the learned Attorney General labelled my contentions as a “lie” and “nonsensical”. “That is a lie and the evidence is there in the Hansard…” posited the AG.

This morning I secured a copy of the relevant part of the Hansard. I also secured a copy of the audio recording of that day’s proceedings in the Committee of Supply. Strangely, the video recording of that day’s proceedings has been removed from the Parliament’s website. I have been informed that the website was hacked over the weekend. It is a striking coincidence that only that day’s video recording seems to have been removed.

Based upon the foregoing, the following questions now arise:

Did Mr Justice Patterson resign but not copy his letter of resignation to the Attorney General?

Did the President not inform the Attorney General that Mr Justice Patterson had resigned?

Is Mr Justice Patterson still advising the Attorney General although he has resigned, so much so that the Attorney General is convinced “beyond a reasonable doubt” that Mr Justice Patterson is still his legal advisor and has indeed budgeted for his continued remuneration for 2018?

Despite his resignation, is Mr Justice Patterson still receiving remuneration from the Attorney General’s office, so as to create the impression in the mind of the Attorney General that he is still functioning as a legal advisor to that office?

Is the Attorney General aware of Mr Justice Patterson’s resignation but has misinformed the Committee of Supply?

These are only a few of the questions which must be answered so that this issue can be settled in the public domain.

Yours faithfully,

Mohabir Anil Nandlall, 

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