National scholarship winner Dr Ryan Wellington will have to repay over $3 million to Government after he failed to return to this country after completing his studies in medicine.
Wellington, who in 2016 was ordered to repay the funds when he did not attend the start of the civil trial brought against him by the Office of the Attorney General, got another chance to defend himself when the Court of Appeal sent his case back to Justice Nadia Kangaloo for determination.
The case went back to be retried and yesterday Justice Kangaloo did not depart from her original decision and ordered Wellington to repay the Government. She gave an oral ruling. After the case went back to her, Wellington in testimony in January, insisted that he fulfilled his contractual agreement under the National Scholarship Programme.
Wellington who moved to Australia, claimed in testimony before Justice Kangaloo at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain, that after writing his final exams at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in May 2009, he wrote to the Ministry of Public Administration which managed the Government scholarship programme at the time.
He said he received no response and after several months, decided to contact the ministry via telephone. Wellington said he was told he could not be offered a job as he had not immediately returned when he completed his degree. He said if he had no intention of coming back, he would not now have been incurring $3 million worth of debt.
The State, which filed the action against him, alleged that Wellington signed an agreement after being awarded an open scholarship in 2003 to obtain a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) at the Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, Ireland. Under the agreement, Wellington, as is the case with other government scholars, was required to repay the Government if he failed to work here for the period of their foreign studies.
The State was represented by attorneys Lesley Ann Lucky Samaroo, Nadine Nabbie and Kendra Mark. Attorneys Ravi Heffes-Doon and Kyle Rudder appeared for Wellington.