By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
JUNKANOO officials are awaiting the release of an internal report concerning bribery allegations connected to the recent Boxing Day and New Year’s Day parades.
Outgoing chairman of the Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence, Silbert Ferguson, said when contacted yesterday the sub-committee appointed to investigate the matter is “concluding their report”.
Another source in the Junkanoo world not authorised to speak on such matters said the report may have been wrapped up last week.
The committee was established to investigate bribery claims after audio recordings between a purported female judge and George “Bommer” Armbrister, a costume designer for the Genesis group, circulated earlier this year. The woman in the recording appears solicits funds from Mr Armbrister in exchange for reducing scores of his rival groups. Seven people were appointed to the JCNP’s committee. They were initially given 14 to 28 days to investigate and report their findings.
The Royal Bahamas Police Force is also investigating the allegations, but police sources could not speak to the status of that investigation yesterday.
Mr Ferguson said he has called police several times for an update. “They haven’t said anything regarding the case at all,” he said.
JCNP elections were held on March 20. Mr Ferguson said the announcement of its new chairman will happen shortly, though a source told this newspaper the results of the election are in dispute.
Mr Ferguson said: “I’m only on as an advisor now. Nobody truly knows what’s going to happen...I expect the report to be taken seriously. Everyone will sign on to it.”
Mr Ferguson headed the JCNP for nine years and did not seek for re-election last month.
The JCNP asked police to investigate bribery claims in January.
Mr Armbrister, the Genesis Junkanoo group costume designer, told The Tribune he attempted a sting operation. He said he downloaded a software that automatically records incoming calls. The JCNP believed the calls originated ahead of the New Year’s parade from inside its Norfolk House location on Frederick Street, access to which is tightly controlled by the parade management team and reserved exclusively for parade operators and judges.