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Minnis Call To Prosecute ‘Not Proper Process’

FNM leader Dr Hubert Minnis.

FNM leader Dr Hubert Minnis.

photo

Allyson Maynard Gibson

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

THE call from FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis for Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson to prosecute members of Parliament for violating the Public Disclosure Act has not come “from the proper people from whom it should commence”.

Responding to questions yesterday, Mrs Maynard-Gibson said despite Dr Minnis’ call to punish those who have not yet filed their financial disclosures, there is a proper process that must be followed.

This comes after The Tribune’s exclusive revelation that more than ten members of Parliament - by their own admission - failed to file financial declarations by March 1 as required by the Public Disclosure Act.

On Sunday, Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) Chairman Myles Laroda was adamant that the decision to prosecute someone for breaching the act is left up to the discretion of the Office of the Attorney General.

When asked for a response yesterday, Mrs Maynard-Gibson said: “This matter is governed by law, there’s a process. I started this interview by speaking and celebrating the rule of law in the Bahamas, and there’s a process by which all of these things happen. I can say that this process has not commenced from the proper people from whom it should commence.”

Mrs Maynard-Gibson has said she has filed her financial information.

However Prime Minister Perry Christie, when interviewed last week, would not say whether or not he had filed his annual disclosures. Deputy Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis last week said he was unsure, but added that he would check the status of his disclosures with his accountant.

Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell told The Tribune that while he had asked for his deadline for the 2015 disclosure period to be extended to next month, all previous years had been filed.

State Finance Minister Michael Halkitis said last week that his documents “were in the mail.” Central and South Eleuthera MP Damian Gomez along with Environment Minister Kenred Dorsett said last week they were both awaiting documents from their respective banks in order to submit the financial declarations. Mr Dorsett has since said he has filed his documents.

Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller also missed the March 1 deadline, but said that he filed his disclosures this week.

State Minister for Investments Khaalis Rolle insisted that his information was being finalised and would be filed in the coming week. Youth, Sports and Culture Minister Dr Danny Johnson said he was just waiting for a notary to sign off on his documents.

On Monday, Marco City MP Greg Moss, Mt Moriah MP Arnold Forbes and Central and South Andros MP Picewell Forbes told The Tribune they intended to file in the coming days.

Another elected official, South Beach MP Cleola Hamilton turned and walked away, refusing to answer questions about the status of her financial declarations when she was approached outside of the House of Assembly earlier this week.

Two FNM MPs, Richard Lightbourn and Dr Andre Rollins, last week revealed to The Tribune that they had not yet filed, however, Dr Rollins promised the matter would be dealt with this week, while Mr Lightbourn said his was “being handled.”

According to the Public Disclosure Act, a summary of the declarations shall be published in a gazette and any person who does not comply with the law is liable to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or imprisonment of not more than two years.

If a parliamentarian does not disclose property owned in the Bahamas, the land can be seized and forfeited to the government.

The declarations have not been made public since 2012, an election year.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 3 months ago

Just look at how the Wicked Witch of the West talks down to her perceived lowly Bahamian underlings, including Minnis! She is all too quick to say there is a proper process to be followed before she can proceed to prosecute members of Parliament for violating the Public Disclosure Act (the "Act") but she refuses to tell us what that process is. She also says the call for her to prosecute the admitted (self-confessed) violators of the Act has not come “from the proper people from whom it should commence." What she will next proudly and cutely proclaim to all of us, as her perceived underlings, is that her hands are tied because it takes a majority vote of the sitting MPs in a duly convened session of the House of Assembly to instigate and bring about the prosecution of violators under the Act. Now what's the chance of that ever happening while the corrupt Christie-led PLP government control a majority of the seats in the House of Assembly. Or perhaps she will tell us that only our Governor-General (Lady Poodling) can initiate and cause the violators to be prosecuted; and, once again, we know there's no chance in hell of that ever happening. Come on you Wicked Witch, just tell your underlings why you are so smugly secure in doing absolutely nothing yourself to uphold the laws of our country. Many of your perceived underlings believe you need a good smacking by that self-righteous broom you ride around on!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 3 months ago

Re-post: Like so many other things he has squawked about but never followed through on to bring to their proper conclusion, Minnis ain't gonna do diddly squat even though he himself has the statutory power to move the AG to prosecute violators of the Financial Disclosures Act. Minnis will soon be harping on about the next "topic du jour"......meanwhile he has no track record whatsoever of ever having accomplished a single thing for the Bahamian people! True to form, Minnis remains perhaps the most feckless politician ever in the modern day era of politics in our country. He is a shallow man with no sense of direction or purpose fundamentally necessary to lead. Minnis is all about Minnis and therefore is a lost soul who refuses to accept he has no political or leadership skills. 2017 is not going to be kind to this man as the bell doth toll for the death of the FNM party.

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