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Davis Slams 'Reckless' Minnis On Refinery Deal

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, left, with Peter Krieger, non-executive director of Oban Energies. Photo: Yontalay Bowe/OPM Media Services

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, left, with Peter Krieger, non-executive director of Oban Energies. Photo: Yontalay Bowe/OPM Media Services

By Rashad Rolle

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party Leader Philip “Brave” Davis said Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis is “reckless” for proceeding with the $5.5 billion Oban Energies project despite last week’s revelations about its front man, adding this shows his “lack of good judgment”.

As he gave a speech before eastern area PLP branch chairs on Tuesday, Mr Davis, pictured, also said he hopes the deal could still be salvaged.

Mr Davis’ strongest remarks yet against the deal came as Dr Minnis is expected to table the heads of agreement for the project today.

Administration insiders say the agreement will allay concerns Bahamians may have about some associated with the project by showing who the real players are behind the deal.

Last week, it was revealed that Peter Krieger, the non-executive chairman of Oban Energies, has faced allegations of misappropriating investor funds and that he pleaded guilty to a first-degree felony of organised fraud in 2006.

Investigations by The Tribune also showed that other people identified as high-ranking executives of the company exaggerated their background and qualifications. The company’s website was subsequently erased of references to them.

Mr Davis said: “While the Speaker was being tried in the high court of Parliament when we were putting our case against the Speaker who should have resigned and should still resign, the lost PM said in the House that he had a deal and he did all of that to distract the discussion, to take people’s mind off what we were doing to the Speaker. He went on further to tell Grand Bahama, which is in dire need of some real investments, that he had a real deal, a $5 billion deal. Well, our deputy leader, Chester Cooper, our man of business, the first thing he said, he asked Dr Minnis, show us the money. We asked to see the details of the agreement.

“Against much caution and concern the government still went ahead to sign a heads of agreement with this Florida-based Oban Energies. But guess what, before the ink could dry, serious revelations presented in the press confirmed our suspicions. The country discovered that the non-executive chairman had pleaded guilty to organised fraud in 2006, according to information supplied by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). To make matters worse, the prime minister told the press that he knew of Oban’s chairman’s problems. What do they say about the birds?

“Imagine that. He knew and yet he went on to execute an agreement with that company. Hubert Minnis is a desperate man . . . the PM in his rush to get a deal also failed to honour his own commitment to table such agreements in Parliament. Last week they packed their bags up and ran out the House as usual after announcing that they would lay the same deal on the table. Why you think they ran as the pressure built? Bahamians were left in shock and even FNM supporters were dumbfounded as the revelations of this proposed deal came to light.”

He said Dr Minnis does not have the skill of due diligence.

“His decision to proceed with Oban proves reckless and lacks the good judgment that should be exercised from his high office as prime minister. His failure to respond to questions from the press on this agreement prove what we knew more than nine months ago about this Minnis government, that they were ill-prepared to govern.

“. . . And while we all are praying for Grand Bahama, which needs urgent critical attention, the perception that some jobs would come with Oban, we all know too well that such jobs would not be immediate. If something were to be salvaged and we hope to God that something may be salvaged from this deal, but in fact, after all the pressure and careful work by the media last week, Oban’s website has vanished. That makes the proposal even more suspect. How could Prime Minister Minnis make an agreement with a company that has no real background in oil? How could the prime minister hitch the good name of the Bahamian people to a project which has no environmental impact assessment done? Where are our environmentalists, the activists who so care about our environment now?

“And while questionable deals are being signed with the full sight of the Cabinet without tabling the details in Parliament, the prime minister is going around the world and this really upsets me, further eroding the credibility of the Bahamas calling Bahamians corrupt,” he said, referencing Dr Minnis’ recent trip to Haiti for a CARICOM meeting.

“That’s why others could talk about us bad and think they can get away with it.”

“I want the PM to bring full disclosure and tell the Bahamian people who are the real players behind Oban Energies. Who are they, Mr Prime Minister? Could you, Mr Prime Minister, tell us if any of your Cabinet colleagues are hidden partners of that refinery project with Oban Energies?”

Comments

TalRussell 1 year, 8 months ago

Ma Comrade "Brave's" weak, muddied, and lacking energy in response Oban's pie in sky lacking neither the funds or experience be risking sludge up waters and beaches Grand Bahama is good reason why the colony of islands must give birth to an alternative opposition party to unseat the Imperial reds. Even Oban has more fuel in their tank than the PLP as a party,,,,they should stop blowing smoke cause the Imperial reds have cornered political landscape with a MONOPOLY...... But resist the temptation of starting just another party from a collection old, tired, left out the pot of political gold red and PLP politicians and hang oneers.

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sealice 1 year, 8 months ago

what do you call trying to sell the entire island of Mayaguana to unqualified people then?

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joeblow 1 year, 8 months ago

Is that the same "Brave" talkin' who can't go to Miami?

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bogart 1 year, 8 months ago

Roc wid Doc jus tryin to move forward to assist people who in soup lines accepting charity of food supplies wid a project alresdy approved in principle by previous administration. Cant give the man wrong fer at least tryin.....after all dese years..... Even EIA of Coopers Town Shipping Harbour still needed another Study when thd blue hole showed up. The piece of land is supposed to be across the street from the existing Statoil facility.... Investments prpjects even good on paper still have tings to go wrong....just look how far Wallace Groves who served time in jail before Grand Bahama took Freeport....from a pine forest...

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bogart 1 year, 8 months ago

.....while everyone is saying all sorts of tings about tjis OBAN possible investment......the Bank of the Bahamas has published their Repossessed homes for sale in a whole pamplet wid a whole lot of Grand Bahama homes same week and placed in all thd newspapers....goodness...Grand Bahmiians on the soup line for food....plenty depending on food handouts...AND IF DIS WASNT ENUFF DEY OWN GOVT MAJORITY BANK AT DIS TIME ...PUBLISHING WHOLE PAMPLET WID DEY HOUSES FER SALE !!! DIS BANK MUST BE INVESTIGATED!!!

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Chucky 1 year, 8 months ago

this deal sounds like something that Richard Schumacher would be behind. He tried to convince people of much bigger deals

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TigerB 1 year, 8 months ago

You know something? Ill bet if the government change right now, tomorrow Brave will be on the other side of this OBAN deal, he will be trying to push it like mad man. Sort of remind me of the Bahamar sale, I see the now PM was one who was against the buyer, now Bahamar is the country savior... its just politricks... I listen to Glynis Hanna makin' noise, I guess they want OBAN to fail, I hope it succeed highly, just like Bahamar

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