National scholarship winner Dr Ryan Wellington has appealed a judge’s order to repay over $3 million to Government after he failed to return to this country when he completed his studies in medicine. Attorneys representing Wellington, yesterday, filed an appeal on his behalf.
Wellington, was ordered to repay the funds in 2016 when he did not attend the start of the civil trial brought against him by the Office of the Attorney General, but he got another chance to defend himself when the Court of Appeal sent his case back to Justice Nadia Kangaloo for determination. In her second ruling, Kangaloo did not depart from her original decision and ordered Wellington to repay the Government.
After the case went back to her, Wellington, in testimony in January, insisted he fulfilled his contractual agreement under the National Scholarship Programme.
Wellington, who moved to Australia, claimed in testimony before 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 by 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 after his overseas studies.
Wellington is represented by attorney Ravi Heffes-Doon and Kyle Rudder appeared for Wellington.