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Former Member of Parliament (MP) Desmond Trotman has moved to the courts to challenge the sale and transfer of acres of prime ocean-front state lands to former President Bharrat Jagdeo, past government Ministers and other close associates.In a high court motion filed yesterday, Trotman and the Committee for the Defence of the Constitution Incorporated, are seeking a mandatory order directed to each of the property owners that the legal and beneficial ownership of the parcels of land at Plantations Goedverwagting and Sparendaam, purported to be sold and transferred to them, shall be returned to the State.Trotman is claiming that the prime lands were covertly sold at undervalued prices in a manner clearly lacking transparency and in an effort to develop the exclusive scheme, orders came from Cabinet and not through the requisite statutory bodies.Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent from government corporations, it was claimed. Trotman brought to the court’s attention that the millions of dollars have been spent to develop the area but it was done unlawfully. The act was an abuse of power by the then Executive in contravention of the rights of the people, Trotman said.In this light, the court has been asked to also grant a conservatory order prohibiting the Registrar of Lands from registering or transferring, or in any form or manner encumbering any of the parcels of land located in what is popularly known as Pradoville 2.Trotman said the proceedings have been laid out in the interest of the public.In representing Trotman and the group, Senior Counsel Rex McKay and Neil Boston along with Attorneys-at-Law Betina Glasford and Brenden Glasford have called on Attorney General Basil Williams to defend several actions taken by the former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Cabinet in setting up the exclusive housing scheme.The court is being asked to declare that the move by the former cabinet to authorize National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL) to approve the mutation of the parcels of East Coast Demerara lands without the authorisation and approval of Parliament, the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) and other relevant statutory authorities “is arbitrary, unconstitutional, unreasonable, unlawful, ultra vires, null and void, ab initio and of no legal effect.”A declaration is also being sought to the effect that the sale and transfer of the fully developed parcels of state lands by the Executive at undervalued prices to then government Ministers, officials, friends and cronies of the PPP without any recourse to a valuation or tender procedure or an invitation to the public that such lands are for sale is a wrongful and “unlawful grant of facilities and benefits, a brazen and flagrant infringement on citizens’ rights to equality before the law.”This, he said,Cheap NFL Jerseys, is in violation of the Constitution and is discriminatory.Trotman wants the court to declare too that the purported conferment of the benefits, advantages and facilities by the then Cabinet and administrative actions of the State on the purported purchasers of parcels of the state lands, to acquire titles for them an abuse of power by the Executive in contravention of the rights of the people.He is also seeking a declaration that the parcel holders have been accorded privileges which were not afforded to other persons and it is arbitrary, unconstitutional, unlawful, unreasonable,Cheap Authentic Jerseys, an abuse of power by the Executive and an infringement of the rights of the people.Bought and SoldIn his affidavit of support, Trotman said that on September 2, 2010, parcels of the lands were registered to PPP Government ministers and their blood relatives, known supporters of the party and other senior influential Government employees.Among those he listed were former Ministers Robert Persaud (Natural Resources), Shaikh Baksh (Housing and Water), Clement Rohee (Home Affairs), Priya Manickchand (Education) along with Lisaveta Ramotar, General Manager of the Guyana Gold Board and daughter of former President Donald Ramotar.They each paid $1.5M for 0.3030 acres of land. The former Public Service Minister Jennifer Westford acquired 0.3186 acres at nearly $1.6M. One person stated as G. Singh and his wife paid $1.5M to acquire 0.3005 acres.Of note, Trotman said that Jagdeo scooped up two parcels for himself. A 1.5 acre plot was bought by him for $7.5M and another 0.4603 acres for $2.3M.According to Trotman’s supporting document, beneficiaries of the Government’s largesse were also former Chief Executive Officer of GuySuco, Dr. Rajendra Singh; former President of the Private Sector Commission, Ramesh Dookoo, and Andrew Ranji Bishop, Florrie Loretta Ramnauth, Safraz Khan.They each paid $1.5M for 0.3005 acres of land.George Hallaq and Nada Hallaq paid $5M for 0.85 acre while, according to the document, Future Developers International (Guyana) Inc., a company whose sole Director is CEO Dr. Singh, paid $3M for the land.Director of Public Prosecutions Shalimar Hack and her husband Moeenul Hack are said to have paid nearly $1.5M for 0.2767 acres. Former Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Rear Admiral Gary Best and former Chairman of Commonwealth Development Compton Bourne were listed as having paid $1.5M for 0.3 acres of land there as well.Trotman’s affidavit of support further stated that in 2013 former Minister Manickchand sold the land and property to David Narine for $100M while the year before, Persaud sold his land and property to a local company ASR Inc., for $90M.Trotman said the conduct of the former Cabinet and their authorised administrative actions contravened his and the citizens’ fundamental right to equality before the law, the protection of the law, equality of treatment from public authorities in the exercise of their functions and the enjoyment of those rights without discrimination.Covert Operation In his Originating Notice of Motion, Desmond Trotman said the then President Jagdeo and his Cabinet covertly conceived clandestinely to develop the land without Parliamentary knowledge or approval for selective housing purposes.According to the former MP, the project involved an expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars to develop the lands, to construct roads and drains, install water mains, electrical lines. The project involved the removal of a 300-foot state-owned broadcasting tower from the said lands and installing it at La Parfaite Harmonie,China NBA Jerseys, West Bank Demerara, it was said.The former MP said that no money was authorised by Parliament for the development but to fund the project, the then Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh unlawfully authorised NICIL to take money collected by Government Corporations and other wholly owned Government Companies such as the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) and GuyOil.Monies from those agencies should have been paid into the Consolidated Fund, he said. The document states that in July 2010, Executive Director of NICIL Winston Brassington, directed Shabeer Ali, a sworn Land Surveyor, to survey and paal off the lands.Having completed the survey on July 1 that year, a plan was recorded in the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission. The said plan, Trotman said, shows firstly the mutation of Parcel 237 into Parcels 238 to 247, Plantation Goedverwagting or Area other than Land Registration Area Block No. III.Secondly, “Mutation of Parcel 172 into Parcels 173 to 196, Planation Sparendaam or Area other than Land Registration Area Block No. IV. Zone: East Coast Demerara in the County of Demerara.”Trotman is adamant that parcels of this set of state lands of varying sizes and prices were “clandestinely, wrongfully and unlawfully sold and title transferred on the authorisation and direction of the Executive to Ministers of Government, cronies, friends and supporters of the People’s Progressive Party.”He emphasised that no advertisement was made by the Government informing the public that the said parcels of state lands were for sale. He said the sale and transfer of titles for the said properties were done clandestinely by the Executive in a brazen abuse of power.HijackedIn his affidavit in support of the motion, Trotman stated that early in the year 2010, the former government hijacked two parcels of ocean-front state lands.He said on March 9, 2010, the then Cabinet of Ministers authorized NICIL to be in charge of the project and do everything necessary for its successful completion. He said the surveyor recorded in note 5 of the Memorandum of the said plan, that The Areas surveyed are held by National Communications Network (NCN) by order No. 607 of 2004.He said he was informed by a clerk in the office of the National Assembly that there is no such order 607 of 2004 in its records.He stated the mutation of the said lands into parcels “was a manifestation of the Cabinet of Ministers decision clandestinely to develop the said lands into a private and selective housing scheme exclusively for Ministers of the Government, Senior and influential Government officials, cronies, friends and supporters of the People’s Progressive Party.”In fact,Cheap Jerseys USA, Trotman said that the development of the said project fell within the administration of the Plaisance/Industry NDC, the Town and Country Planning Act, the Central Housing and Planning Authority, and of the Public Health Act.The appointment of NICIL by Cabinet was therefore unlawful and void, he stated. He said the project’s development was carried out without the approval of Parliament or any of the Statutory Agencies. “The pricing and allocation of the said lands were not done by the CHPA and were not under their control, though payments were made to CHPA, of the sums stated on the Certificates of Title.”The development of the lands was financed at great costs and in order to support its funding, the then Finance Minister and Cabinet authorised NICIL to use the moneys from the government companies.He said that the development of the land is a scheme,Authentic NFL Jerseys Wholesale, as provided in the Town and Country Planning Act and is subjected to statutory provisions and regulations of the TCPA and CHPA. Trotman said that by Section 3 of TCPA, the execution and enforcement of a scheme is vested in the CHPA.The project was never approved by the CHPA or by the Board under the Public Health Act however and according to Trotman all construction and building works carried out were unlawful.He said in breaching Articles 149 and 149D of the constitution, the parcels of land were clandestinely sold to the select few without any recourse to a valuation or tender procedure,China Adidas Hockey Jerseys, notification to the public that the said lands were for sale or an invitation to the public to purchase any of the said lands.
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