Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 30th 2015 Contents circumstances that led to the construction of the
Las Alturas Towers and is being chaired by retired
Justice Mustapha Ibrahim at the Caribbean Court
of Justice, Henry Street, Port-of-Spain.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, September 30, 2015
IT'S TIME TO ORDER YOUR
CALENDARS, DESK PLANNERS
& WALL PLANNERS
Former housing minister Dr Roodal
Moonilal believes Prime Minister Dr Keith
Rowley wants to sabotage the commission
of inquiry into the Las Alturas Housing
Project at Lady Young Road, Morvant.
He made the comment yesterday in
response to Rowley s statement the day
before in which he (Rowley) distanced him-
self from the project, saying he was not in
office during the period the contract for
the development was signed and work start-
"I have taken note of the statements of
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and he
cannot abdicate responsibility for his role
in the Las Alturas debacle. I am wondering
if this is not an attempt to crash the com-
mission of inquiry, due to non co-operation,"
Moonilal said in a telephone interview.
A release from the Office of the Prime
Minister (OPM) on Monday denied media
reports which suggested the failed devel-
opment was initiated under his tenure.
"Contrary to a recent media report, Dr
Rowley did not hold the portfolio of minister
of housing at the time of the awards for
the construction of the failed Las Alturas
Towers, which are the subject of the
enquiry," the release said.
That portfolio, the release added, was
held by then minister of planning, housing
and the environment, Emily Gaynor Dick-
Ford, who was appointed to the position
in December 2007.
The release further stated that the "the
contract items under the purview and inves-
tigation of the commission of enquiry
occurred from 2008 onwards when he
(Rowley) was no longer the minister of
housing and therefore held no responsibility
for that portfolio."
Yesterday, however, Moonilal noted that
a housing project was not a box drain and
would have required time for designing,
planning and construction.
He said during his purview as housing
minister, he was charged with the planning,
design and financial aspects of housing
projects. It would have been the same port-
folio Rowley would have filled in his role
as a housing minister, he said. He reasoned
that Dick-Ford should also seek to clear
Moonilal also raised the issue of former
HDC managing director Noel Garcia s recent
appointment as chairman of the Udecott.
He said Garcia had been cited in two major
commission of enquiries in the construction
The fifth session of the commission of
enquiry (CoE) in the Las Alturas project
was scheduled to start last Monday but
was adjourned "due to unavailability of
witnesses." The session was expected to
continue until October 9.
Alternative dates will now have to be set,
officials stated, due to scheduling conflicts
with some of the witnesses and Queen s
Counsel Vincent Nelson. Nelson represents
The enquiry was recommended by the
former prime minister Kamla Persad-Bisses-
sar after concerns were raised about the
cost, which skyrocketed from $65 million
to $90 million.
The enquiry was set up to investigate the
Ex-minister not buying PM's Las Alturas claim
Roodal: Sabotage plot afoot
The commission of enquiry was set up to
investigate "the entire process which led to the
construction of the Las Alturas Towers at Lady
Young Gardens, Morvant, and all other acts,
matters or decisions done or undertaken
incidental to and including the construction" of
the project, which includes the procurement
Two multi-storey units of the project began
falling apart soon after construction and the $26
million towers were earmarked for demolition.
They were part of a larger project, which was
originally budgeted at $65 million and then rose
to $90 million.
The commission is chaired by former Justice of
Appeal Mustapha Ibrahim.
The other members include civil engineers, Dr
Myron Wing-Sang Chin and Anthony Farrell.
Attorney Laraine Lutchmedial is the secretary.
They were appointed by President Anthony
Carmona in December 2014.
In September 2014, former prime minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar recommended an enquiry
into the project after raising concerns about the
two towers which had to be demolished.
HISTORY OF COE
Jamaican reggae star Siccature "Jah
Cure" Alcock has settled an outstanding
debt with a local concert promoter
which had threatened to delay his
The 36-year-old performer, who was
arrested by marshals of the Port-of-
Spain High Court shortly after complet-
ing his performance during a concert at
the O2 Park, Chaguaramas, on Sunday
night, was given back his passport after
reaching an agreement with promoter
Keevan Phillip of Sunshine Promotions.
Alcock, who has been a regular fixture
on the local entertainment scene since
being released after serving an eight-
year prison term for rape in Jamaica in
2008, returned to the Hall of Justice,
Port-of-Spain, yesterday to inform Justice
James Aboud of the settlement.
Alcock s presence at the Knox Street
courthouse caused a stir, as several female
members of the public briefly abandoned
their own cases as they clustered outside
the courtroom to catch a glimpse of the
During the brief hearing, Alcock s
lawyer, Steven Singh, informed the court
his client had agreed to pay Phillip
US$2,500 in addition to the US$6,000
initial payment he made to secure his
release early Monday morning.
Phillip was initially claiming he was
owed TT$83,000 but he appeared to
lower his estimation after discussions
with Alcock s lawyers over the past few
days. Alcock attempted to evade media
photographers as he made his way to a
waiting vehicle after collecting his pass-
port from the High Court registry.
"Weh they want mi picture for. Me
nah rob nobody," Alcock said as he hid
his face under his shirt.
Alcock is the second Jamaican per-
Reggae artiste Siccature "Jah Cure" Alcock leaves
the Hall of Justice, Port-of-Spain hiding his face after
having his matter settled yesterday.
PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
former to be detained under the Absconding Debtors
Act for outstanding debt related to performance fees.
In July, dancehall artist Reano "Busy Signal" Gordon
was arrested before performing in a concert after a
promoter sought emergency court intervention over
an unpaid US$37,000 debt. He too was able to negotiate
an agreement and was later allowed to leave the coun-
try.Alcock also was represented by Mario Merritt while
Cedric Neptune and Kayode Saunders appeared for
After settling debt with promoter...
'Jah Cure' gets to return to Jamaica
Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley.
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