ATTORNEY-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, S.C., has expressed his intention to institute legal proceedings against A Partnership for National Unity plus Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) Member of Parliament, Annette Ferguson, for remarks she allegedly made stating that he was distributing identification cards on Elections Day.
The allegation that Nandlall had distributed identification cards to People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) supporters on the March 2, 2020 Elections Day, surfaced on the same day when the remarks were made by General Secretary of the People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R) Amna Ally and former Attorney- General, Basil Williams, at the Mon Repos Primary School, East Coast Demerara.
Nandlall had previously issued a statement on the matter denouncing a video that was circulating on Facebook in which Ally and Williams made the accusation, noting that on the day in question he was called to the location by PPP/C candidates to observe a crowd misbehaving and abusing persons who were going to cast their vote.
“When Basil Williams and Amna Ally entered, I thought I was talking to intelligent, mature, experienced politicians who would have been able to rise above the foolish fray and, low and behold, they were mouthing the identical accusation,” Nandlall expressed in the statement.
In his television programme ‘Issues in the News’ on Tuesday, he noted that Ferguson reiterated the remarks while at a high-level discussion hosted by the European Union’s (EU) Election Observer Mission at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Monday last.
Ferguson represented the APNU+AFC at the discussion, which was also attended by the diplomatic corps, other political parties and stakeholders from the civil society, while Nandlall, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira and Minister of Home Affair, Robeson Benn represented the government.
SHOCKED BUT ELATED
“In the presence of all those people, she makes the allegation against me that I was seen sharing out ID cards on Elections Day. Well, I was shocked as well as elated: shocked that, that kind of behaviour is thought fit by her to exhibit at such a forum, but elated that they have now said it outside of the Parliament,” Nandlall said.
The Attorney-General explained that while members of the APNU+AFC Coalition have uttered the sentiments on numerous occasions while in Parliament, they enjoyed Parliamentary immunity on those occasions.
“Well, she said it outside the Parliament in this meeting, in the presence of a number of persons and I am happy that she did so because I am already in the process of preparing legal proceedings to sue her,” he said.
Nandlall is awaiting a transcript of the recorded meeting to file legal proceedings against Ferguson where the burden of proof will be on her to prove before a judge in the High Court that the accusations she made are truthful.
“I don’t want when I go to court she denies saying so, although she said it in a whole room of people. I will have the recording with her voice on it so the judge will not have to be in doubt and I will not have to go to any great length in providing that these words were uttered and were uttered by her,” he said.
“She will go and explain to a judge of the High Court very soon how she knows that I was sharing out ID cards. Let them bring the person who saw me or let them bring evidence that they have that I was sharing out ID cards on Elections Day,” he added.