The Alliance for Change which is one of the partners in the APNU+AFC Coalition, lambasted the PPP Civic Government today over the arrest of former Finance Minister Winston Jordan and the plan to file charges against him in relation to the sale of wharf facilities by the former Government to local contracting company, BK International.
The AFC described the actions of the Police as unlawful and vulgar, adding that the arrest of Jordan “has cemented the position that the PPP regime is now a naked dictatorship”.
Jordan was arrested yesterday morning after being invited to the headquarters of the Special Organised Crime Unit for questioning about the sale under the former Government of the wharf facilities that was leased to BK since 2006. The sale of the wharf facilities actually started in 2013 but got entangled in a Court matter that came to an end in 2017, clearing the way for the sale.
SOCU’s position is that the facility was sold to BK at a value below its market price and for that, it intends to charge the Minister who signed the vesting order for the sale for misconduct in public office.
In its statement today, the AFC noted that the arrest of the former Finance Minister comes just weeks after the Vice President publicly chided SOCU for its sloth in investigations against former government officials.
According to the AFC, the nation needs to be reminded that Winston Jordan was, at all material times, a gazetted Minister, with responsibility for Finance, within the President David Granger constitutionally appointed Cabinet of Ministers and Ministers operate under the doctrine of “collective responsibility” and are answerable to the National Assembly of the Parliament.
The AFC said at all times, Minister Jordan acted within the strict parameters of the Constitution and Financial Management and Accountability Act and No decision was personal or without Cabinet approval.
The Alliance For Change noted that to charge and prosecute a former Minister for taking actions pursuant to a decision(s) of Cabinet is vulgar, abusive, unlawful and unconstitutional.
Similar charges were filed against another former Government Minister, Dr. George Norton, but the charges were withdrawn by the DPP because the issue was also a cabinet decision.