THE State is expected to call over 100 witnesses in the case against embattled Region Four Returning Officer (RO), Clairmont Mingo, regarding the electoral fraud which was reportedly committed during the March 2 General and Regional Elections.
Mingo, 69, of Calcutta, Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara, on Friday, September 25, 2020, made his second appearance before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan on four charges of ‘Misconduct in Public Office’.
During Friday’s hearing, State prosecutor Teriq Mohammed made a partial disclosure of statements.
He also made an application for a summary disposal of the case, which would allow Mingo to plead to the charges. This was however met with strong objections from Mingo’s attorney, Nigel Hughes, who questioned whether the Police intended to bring additional charges against his client.
In response, the State Prosecutor disclosed to the court that since the case file is still incomplete, he wasn’t in a position to respond to the lawyer’s question. Mohammed informed that so far he has over 100 witnesses who are slated to testify.
The Chief Magistrate set December 11 as the date for full disclosure.
Mingo is currently on $600,000 bail for the four indictable charges.
The first two charges against him allege that, on March 5, 2020, at High and Hadfield Streets, Georgetown, while being a public officer, he wilfully misconducted himself by declaring a result for District Four, without ascertaining the total votes cast in favour of each List in the said District in the Regional and General Elections.
The case against him is that he failed to add up the votes recorded in favour of each List in accordance with the Statements of Poll, which, in the eyes of the Law, amounts to a breach of the public’s trust, without any reasonable excuse or justification.
The other two charges allege that he committed the same offences on March 13, 2020, at the GECOM High and Cowan Streets, Kingston Head Office, when he wilfully misconducted himself by declaring a result for District Four in the said March 2 General and Regional Elections.
Earlier this month Mingo was jointly charged with former government minister, Volda Lawrence for fraud.
In March criminal charges were filed against the duo by Charles Ramson Jr. in relation to the controversial District Four results. The contention is that Mingo and Lawrence uttered a forged document with the intent of defrauding the public, contrary to Section 278 of the Criminal Law Offences Act Chapter 8:01.
It is alleged that Mingo, having been ‘procured’ by former government minister, Ms. Volda Lawrence, on or about March 5, 2020, at Hadfield and High Streets, Georgetown, uttered to the Chief Elections Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Keith Lowenfield, a Form 24 Representation of the People Act dated March 5, 2020, knowing same to be forged, with intent to defraud the people of the state of Guyana.
It is also alleged that, in the course of Mingo and Lawrence colluding to forge the Form 24 document, the latter’s signature was affixed to the said document, which had shown a win for the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC).
Mingo was placed on self-bail, while Lawrence was released on $100,000 bail.