On Thursday, former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh and former head of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), were scheduled to be arraigned before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, however, the case was postponed until May 7th 2018. This is to give time for the duo to be present before the court, since they are both living out of the jurisdiction. Dr. Singh is represented by attorney-at-law, Anil Nandlall while Brassington’s attorney is Stanley Moore.
The two attorneys spoke to the media shortly after the hearings in the Chief Magistrate’s Court. Nandalall, who represented Dr. Singh noted that the charges instituted on the two are very strange.
Both Dr. Singh and Brassington are jointly charged with three offences, the sale of three plot of lands to; National Hardware Ltd, Multicinema Guyana Inc. and Seady Business Corporation.
Nandlall noted that the sale of the lands were authorized by a board of directors governing NICIL. That board received permission from the Privatization Unit, the Cabinet and by extension the government of Guyana, so the sale was a ligitimate one.
Nandlall is questioning the rationale behind the charges, since there were no wrong doing and therefore they cannot be any criminal charges instituted upon the duo. He noted that if persons will be charged for the decisions they make while they are in government, then “we are going down a dangerous road.”
He further noted that the current oil contract that is signed by the present government is “lopsided” and questions if the entire government will be charged for that. He noted this charge has been fabricate and concocted, because no one made contact with either defendants or their attorneys.
He stated that because of this act by SOCU, the judiciary is being used to settle political scores.
The charges states that Dr. Singh while performing duties as Minister of Finance and Chairman of NICIL and Winston Brassington, while performing duties as CEO of NICIL back in December 2009, sold to; National Hardware Guyana Ltd. a track of land at Liliendaal, Pattensen and Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara, for $598,659,398; on May 14th 2011, they sold to Multicinema Guyana Inc. a track of land at Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara, for $185,037,000 and on December 30th, 2008, they sold to Seady Business Corporation, a track of land at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara, for $340,000,000, without a valuation from a valuation officer for the said lands.