The former Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Lands and Surveys Commission Trevor Benn was today charged for misconduct in public office relating to the sale of Government land at Ogle to an investor while he served as the Head of the Lands and Surveys Commission.
He was released on $200,000 bail.
When Benn first arrived at the Courthouse this morning, the Police Prosecutor was preparing to file a fraud charge of obtaining money by false pretence.
But then it was found that the charge was improper and could not stand. The Police Prosecutor asked for a brief adjournment and returned to the Court, filing instead a charge of misconduct in public office.
The Prosecution’s case is that between the 1st January 2018 and the 31st March 2020, Benn acted improperly when as Head of the Lands and Surveys Commission, he allowed the lease of six acres of land to Janico Vide Industrial Engineering at a cost of $27 Million.
The Prosecution is contending that although the land is state-owned, it did not fall under the Lands and Surveys Commission at the time.
After the hearing, Mr. Benn told the media that the charge filed against him is a clear case of vindictiveness by the current government. He said it is foolish to be charged for bringing in money for the government.
“What this government has done to me, is to make me more resolved now to be an advocate for the people of Guyana. I think this is vindictive witch-hunting on the part of the government to destroy and besmirch the character of a professional black man. I have worked all my life with international organizations and in many countries around the world and I have never faced this. I don’t understand how you can bring a charge that speaks to a man helping the government, bringing resources and revenue to the government and you are charging me for bringing revenue to the government”, Benn said.
Trevor Benn was appointed to head the Lands and Surveys Commission under the APNU+AFC Government and has been credited with modernizing the government agency and getting it out of its financial woes.