CHAGUANAS West MP Dinesh Rambally is calling on the Integrity Commission to formally investigate the conduct of the Prime Minister in relation to the revocation of the Police Service Commission's (PSC) merit list for the position of Commissioner of Police (CoP) after it was submitted to President Paula-Mae Weekes last August.
Speaking during the weekly UNC press conference on Sunday, Rambally said that under Section 37 of the Integrity in Public Life Act, Chapter 22:01, the commission may on its own initiative, consider any matter with respect to the duty or obligation of a person under the Act, where in its opinion, it is in the public interest to do so.
The names on the merit list for the substantive appointment of CoP were shown to have been Gary Griffith, Jason Francis, Andre Norton and Erla Harewood-Christopher, while names for acting appointment as CoP were Griffith and current Ag CoP, McDonald Jacob.
“It is certainly in the public's interest to consider whether any breaches of the (act) have occurred," Rambally said, in regard to the Prime Minister’s admissions as contained in a newspaper report, regarding the merit list, the PSC led by then chairman Bliss Seepersad, and President Paula-Mae Weekes.
Rambally said that under Section 25, a person in public office shall not use information gained in the execution of his office, and which is not available to the general public, to further or seek to further his private interests.
“Under Section 26, a person shall not use his office to seek to influence a decision made by another person or public body to further his/her own private interests.
“All roads lead to the same conclusion – Dr Rowley must subject himself to an investigation. If he cannot show that his conduct was above reproach or that he acted within the remit of the law, or that his personal prejudices and interests did not influence his actions, then he must be asked to step down with immediate effect,” Rambally said.
In a Facebook post last Wednesday, Rowley denied he was party to a meeting with President Weekes and Seepersad in relation to the merit list.
Rowley was responding to attorney Larry Lalla who represented former CoP Griffith when he sued the PSC after being suspended as acting CoP after his contract ended.
In response to Rowley's Facebook post, Lalla told Newsday the PM's statement does not exonerate him, Seepersad or Weekes and that there is still a case for those three to answer.
On Sunday, Rambally said the public will be taken for fools if it is made to believe that there was no meeting.
He said Weekes also needs to answer whether or not she facilitated the meeting.
“If yes, on what statutory basis did she do so? She has made it clear that she is a creature of statute. Yet, the Prime Minister saw it fit to go in person and deliver pertinent information,” Rambally said.