Opposition Chief Chip Whip, Christopher Jones, has moved to the High Court to scrap the appointment of Mr. Clifton Hicken as acting Police Commissioner while seeking an order to render all actions taken by Mr. Hicken as acting Top Cop, null and void.
In a Fixed Date Application (FDA) filed by Senior Counsel Roysdale Forde and Attorney Selwyn Pieters, Jones is petitioning the Court to declare that the invocation of the doctrine of necessity which the President used to appoint Mr. Hicken as acting Commissioner of Police is unreasonable, ultra vires under the Constitution, Common Law and is illegal, null, void and of no legal effect.
Back in March when President Irfaan Ali announced the appointment of Mr. Hicken, the Opposition threatened to challenge the appointment, arguing among other things, that there was no consultation between the President and the Leader of the Opposition and that the next person in line based on seniority to perform the duties of Commissioner of Police should be Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Williams, since Mr. Hicken is junior to Mr. Williams.
Jones in his detailed affidavit, argued that the President has breached long-established procedures, where, after a Police Commissioner, or acting Commissioner Proceeds on leave, the most senior officer at the time would take the reins of the Force.
He reminded that the force was without a substantive Commissioner of Police since Mr. Leslie James proceeded on pre-retirement leave, and Mr. Hoppie was performing the functions of the office and made out the case that since Mr. Hoppie proceeded on his pre-retirement leave, the next most senior officer should have been appointed.
“Mr. Hoppie who turns 55 years old in December 2022 proceeded on pre-retirement leave on March 27, 2022. Shortly thereafter, and in private, the President of Guyana, His Excellency Mohamed Irfaan Ali illegally and unconstitutionally appointed a Commissioner of Police, in the name of Mr. Clifton Hicken. His Excellency Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of Guyana, appointed Mr. Hicken as acting Commissioner of Police without any requisite consultation,” Jones submitted to the court.
Jones also told the court that there has been no publication in the Official Gazette or any other published legal document which attests to or substantively proves that Mr. Hicken as the “appointed” acting Commissioner of Police, is in fact sitting in that office legally.