THE Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) is calling for the “unmasking” of the public official who “waylaid” then chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) Bliss Seepersad from providing the merit list of individuals for the post of top cop, to the President.
Even though that list was compiled before then police commissioner Gary Griffith's contract ended, he was appointed to act and the acting position was subsequently rescinded and McDonald Jacob was appointed to act as police commissioner.
The imbroglio surrounding the appointment of an acting police commissioner led to major fallout and the complete collapse of the PSC with all members resigning. With the PSC inquorate, it is left to be seen what will be done if a new PSC is not in place before Jacob's appointment ends on October 15, since it is the PSC who is tasked with the appointment of an acting police commissioner and the appointment of a police commissioner.
At a news conference on Sunday, MSJ Political Leader David Abdulah said that person who "waylaid" then chairman Seepersad, must be known to the public.
“We (the public) need to know who is the public official who engaged the PSC chair causing her not to hand over the list to the President.
“We cannot have a process which is supposed to take place without any political interference according to our Constitution interfered with,” Abdulah said.
He said this is tantamount to a constitutional crisis and disagreed strongly with the Prime Minister who said there is no crisis.
“He is absolutely wrong with that. A senior public official intercepted, intervened, waylaid the chair of the PSC, provided her with information to cause her to not submit the merit list to the President, after the PSC arrived at a consensus over who should be appointed police commissioner," Abdulah said.
“This is a major constitutional crisis and ought not to have happened.”
He said there is a process in which politicians can intervene in the appointment of a top cop, that being when it is brought to the Parliament, when a simple majority can decide who is the most suitable candidate and who is not.
Abdulah questioned what kind of police service and what kind of commissioner TT wishes to have.
“Do we want a ‘badjohn’ sheriff...wild, wild west type where everybody has a gun and who have more gun and who is the faster will win?
“Or do we wish to have an intelligence-driven police service, one which uses data, has access to the tolls of artificial intelligence that is primarily engaged in community police relative to restoring confidence in the community?” He said that is the kind of discussion that must take place and heavily factor in on who the next leader of the police service ends up being.