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Summons for cop for failing to attend court
A magistrate yesterday issued a
summons for a police corporalwho
charged a man for attempting to kill
his wife and three daughters and
destroying the house by fire.
The police officer has not been at-
tending court for the matter. Court
prosecutor Sgt Cleyon Seedan re-
quested the summons for his colleague
after the officer again failed to show
up when the matter was called in the
San Fernando First Magistrates; Court
The accused Winford Blackie, 63,
has been in prison since December
2014 because no one has taken his
bail. Seedan told Senior Magistrate
Nanette Forde-John that he has not
received the file from the officer who
laid charges against Blackie.
"He was on vacation, but is back in
the jurisdiction but he has not been
coming tocourt," Seedan complained.
He said the victims have been comingto
court. Reminded by the magistrate that
it was a 2014 matter, Seedan said:"Yes
Your Worship, if he does not come I will
do the necessary."
Blackie was charged with several of-
fences arising out of the December 21
incident at the victim's home in Rivers-
dale Road, Williamsville. Blackie is ac-
cused of chopping his wife Bernadette
Outramand daughters Nadisha Blackie,
Natalie Blackieand Nadine Blackie.He
was charged with attempting to murder
PAEC hears forensic audit taking place at EMBD:
Contracts started at
millions but jump to billions
In light of billions being
unaccounted for and no in-
ternal auditor for the peri-
ods 2013 to 2015, a forensic
audit is taking place in some
units of the Estate Manage-
ment and Business Develop-
ment Company Ltd (EMBD).
Parliament's Public Accounts
Enterprise Committee (PAEC),
which examined the auditedfi-
nancial statements of the EMBD
for the years 2008 to 2010, also
heard that in some cases con-
tracts started off at millions but
eventually ran into billions of
dollars which the management
of the company could not ex-
In one instance a $9 million
contract escalated to $1.183 bil-
lion. That matter is currently
before the court, the committee
Financial audited reports
for 2011 to 2015 were also not
presented resulting in the
committee's chairman, Wade
Mark, toadmonished the EMBD
members for its "unacceptable"
behaviour in not submitting the
Member Shamfa Cudjoe,
who was vociferous in her con-
cerns, said her challenge with
the EMBD over the past nine
years was that it had a "strong
record of mismanagement,"
adding that there were reports
where a contract stared off at
$67 million rose to $334 million.
"The practice in the EMBD is
like so many other State enter-
prises....it is chronic. It is like
a cancer. I read in the Hansad
asking about the financial au-
dits for 2013 and here we are in
2017 with a couple more years
added to the same years we were
"So are we really a committee
interrogating and looking out
for the best interest of the coun-
try or are we playing commit-
tee? Sometimes it feels as if we
are just meeting as a formality
because if we meet three years
after asking the same questions
then this is a waste of time and
public funds," Cudjoe said.
Asked what oversight meas-
ures were in place to ensure
transparency permanent sec-
retary in the Agriculture Minis-
try, Angela Siew, said any addi-
tional moniesdue to variations
to contracts must be Cabinet
Pressed whether there was
a Cabinet note permitting in-
creases to these contracts Siew
said, "No. I am saying this is
what should have happened."
would have to go through the
budget division which would
not approve of such increases
without proper approvals.
But Cudjoe, who seemed
unimpressed said, "Nobody in
the whole line picked up that
something was wrong. And if
that is happening then what is
Siew reiterated that varia-
tions must be Cabinet approved
adding, "In any event even if we
were trying to slip that in to go
to finance ministry they would
not accept it because there are
no proper approvals."
Regarding the failure to sub-
mit financial reports Siew said
some were audited.
The company's chairman,
Shameer Mohammed, also the
chairman of Caribbean Airlines
Ltd, almost 90 percent of the
work was completed on some
of those reports.
Committee member, David
Small, chastised the company
and the Ministry of Agriculture
for not having frequent meet-
ings so as to determine the best
way forward for the entity, as it
was revealed that since its in-
ception in 2002 the company
had moved to three different
ministries and was operating
without a strategic plan.
There was only a "draft
plan" which was never final-
Permanent Secretary in the Agriculture Ministry Angela Siew, answers questions during the
Parliament's Public Accounts Enterprise Committee (PAEC) meeting yesterday.
PHOTO: COURTESY OFFICE OF THE PARLIAMENT
each of the women, maliciously throwing a noxious
substance namely gasoline on each of them with intent
to do them grievous bodily harm and maliciously set-
ting fire to a dwelling house. Outram was in court.The
matter was adjourned to May 8.
Opposition Member Dr Tim Gopeesingh, who repeatedly
asked Mohammed what was taking place with mon-
ies owed to contractors, had his questions shot down
after the company requested to submit written answers.
Mark told Gopeesingh that the answers would be pub-
licly revealed in due course but Gopeesingh disagreed.
"I am the chairman of this committee and I am making
a ruling," Mark told a clearly frustrated Gopeesingh who
then replied, "You can make your ruling but I do not
agree. I am an equal member of this committee. Con-
tractors are suffering for their money."
Gopeesingh further pressed that this was an urgent
matter and even asked the EMBD what it was trying
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