FNM Chairman Dr Duane Sands.
By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
LEADERS of the Free National Movement party filed a complaint with police about Richard Johnson, the organisation’s vice-chairman, saying he falsely accused them of orchestrating the physical attack he experienced last week.
FNM chairman Dr Duane Sands told The Tribune yesterday that party heads filed the defamation of character complaint with police on Monday and expect it to be investigated and taken seriously.
“We find his utterances most reckless and irresponsible and false to make such an incredible allegation with no factual basis and then to double down multiple times,” he said. “It’s just beyond the pale, and so we have asked the Royal Bahamas police force to conduct a proper investigation and let the chips fall where they may.”
“But you ought not make such scurrilous allegations against any individual and there is absolutely no truth to his allegations, none whatsoever.”
A man reportedly assaulted Mr Johnson outside the party’s headquarters last week Thursday, disrupting the meeting inside.
Mr Johnson filed a complaint with the police, but no one has been arrested, police said on Monday.
Dr Sands declined to confirm that party officials have given police a video showing the alleged attack.
“Let’s simply say whatever was available was provided to the Royal Bahamas Police Force,” he said.
FNM leaders see Mr Johnson, a supporter of former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, as a nuisance.
In an internal memo leaked to the press on Monday, Dr Nigel Lewis, the FNM’s 2021 general election campaign coordinator, claimed Mr Johnson frequently disrupts meetings in vulgar ways.
Mr Johnson sued the FNM last year after executives unanimously barred him from council meetings.
Earlier this year, Supreme Court Justice Deborah Fraser instituted an injunction preventing the party’s leaders from barring him from council meetings until she addressed the substantive matter.
She ordered Mr Johnson and party leaders not to personally attack each other or other FNM members in public until she has ruled on the lawsuit.
She later amended her injunction after finding that Mr Johnson failed to disclose how his alleged “bad behaviour” influenced the FNM executive committee’s actions.
In varying the injunction, Justice Fraser ordered that Mr Johnson remain the FNM’s vice chairman, but not exercise his powers and duties under the FNM constitution until the court rules on the substantive matter.
While she affirmed the FNM could not bar Mr Johnson from attending meetings, she restrained him from “formal participation” in the sessions.
She restrained the defendants from empanelling a disciplinary tribunal concerning Mr Johnson’s actions until she addressed the substantive case.