CHARLES DICKENS’ character, Mr Micawber, disgustedly exclaimed “The law is an ass,” and this became clichéd over time, for obvious reasons: Not so anymore in Guyana – not under the watch of Mohabir Anil Nandlall, who has been vested with the portfolio of Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs by the current PPP/C Government.
If an analogy could be drawn on cricket and the law, then Guyana’s Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs could be acclaimed to be hitting boundaries all over the legal arena.
The current AG under the PPP/C administration, Anil Nandlall, has stamped his name and fame in the corridors of Guyana’s and CARICOM’s history for posterity, ranking among the greatest of the Caribbean legal luminaries; defeating his adversaries in and out of courtrooms, hitting boundaries unceasingly. He has practically, Like Dr Cheddi and Mrs Janet Jagan, and their protégée Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, become a legend in his own lifetime. He is certainly the nemesis of former AG, Basil Williams, whom he has bowled out in the courtrooms of Guyana and the Caribbean Court of Justice, time and again.
The protracted period between Guyana’s 2020 elections and the declaration of results saw Nandlall, already a shining star in the firmament of Guyana’s legal fraternity, blaze like the sun in courtroom after courtroom as the illegal APNU+AFC coalition government led by the de facto President David Granger, under various guises, brought a multiplicity of legal challenges in attempts to rig the elections results, the SORS and SOPS, both of which showed the PPP/C – a partnership of the PPP, again teaming up with its partners in civil society, winning the elections with a comfortable majority, a fact acknowledged by the regional and international communities.
The part Anil Nandlall played in these courtroom battles unquestionably precipitated the synergies that allowed the Chairperson of GECOM, Justice (Ret’) Claudette Singh to declare PPP/C the rightful winner of Guyana’s 2020 elections.
Anil Nandlall’s role in the PPP/C construct – in or out of government is a quintessential factor, perhaps even more important than the presidency, to Guyana’s returning to – and sustaining democratic norms and conventions.
The governing party under President Ali’s leadership was aware that the coalition administration had been bleeding the nation’s coffers and decimating the country’s resources to benefit themselves, relatives, financiers and cronies, to the detriment of Guyana’s economic growth and social development, to the extent that people, even their own supporters, were starving.
However, the magnitude of the coalition government’s corruption is only now being revealed as every PPP/C Government’s sectorial head is discovering corruption by the former coalition administration on such a massive scale that explains why Guyana has once again become bankrupt under another PNC-led dictatorial regime.
It is only now that Anil Nandlall’s importance in the role he has been assigned under this new governmental construct is being recognized by all and sundry, because he is tasked with fighting the legal battles of the poor, voiceless and vulnerable, simultaneous to his onerous responsibilities of recouping the nation’s assets and prosecuting the fraudsters and criminals who wantonly stole monies, land and resources that belong to the people of Guyana, and even those who committed electoral fraud; all under the sheltering umbrella of the de facto coalition government.
Within his own Ministry, the AG has discovered financial anomalies that have jeopardized many initiatives; i.e the expenditure of in excess of $92M on a Law Reform Commission; albeit with no work having been done.
During a virtual press conference last Saturday, the AG disclosed that a building had been rented and had housed a secretarial staff since the Law Reform Commission Bill was passed in 2016, but remained inoperable for years, which has prompted the funding agency – the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to threaten to abort the project because of non-compliance with contracted schedule of implementation of operations.
Minister Nandlall revealed an astounding outlay of monies expended for no returns and no work over a period of time that depleted the funds of over $92M to benefit friends, families and cronies.
However, the AG asserts that the new PPP/C Government will be making efforts to swiftly address the matter, declaring: “We will begin to move swiftly to establish this Commission… so as to not have the project pulled by the Bank, but we will, in due course, refashion the legislation so that the Commission can be constituted in a manner that reflects the best interest of the country.
The AG had also informed the nation that the coalition government had kept secret the fact that Guyana was benefitting from US$8M, since 2017, aimed at initiating a project to curtail prison overcrowding.
In another instance of open fraud, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) member Christopher Jones was arrested for the theft of State assets, valuing over $4M that were found by police at his Lot 609 Conciliation Street, Tucville, Georgetown home.
These and more horror stories of corrupt acts in every sector that left Guyana bankrupted by the coalition are engaging the attentions of the AG.
Anil Nandlall is on a mission to hold persons accountable for attempting to subvert democracy in Guyana; as well as for the theft and/or misappropriation of State monies and other assets.
Simultaneous to all these onerous undertakings on behalf of the State, the AG is also fulfilling the PPP/C Administration’s pre-election promise of delivering justice to the ordinary men and women who had been oppressed in diverse ways by the bullies in the dictatorial coalition regime; and today, the farmers of Region Five, who have regained their farmlands, are beneficiaries of his representation as a social responsibility.