The lawyer for now detained former NICIL official, Colvin Heath-London says he has been questioned by the police for the last two days on a decision which had been taken by a now deceased former Chief Executive Officer.
The attorney Nigel Hughes, in a press release today said that Heath-London had been wrongfully arrested and that plans were afoot by the police to extend his detention.
The wrongful arrest and continued detention of Colvin Heath London.
Colvin Heath London voluntarily attended the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Police Headquarters Eve Leary on Friday the 20th November 2020 at 8.30 AM in the company of his Attorneys at law.
He was arrested immediately, upon arrival for the offence of conspiracy to defraud.
During the day he was questioned extensively in a video recorded interview on the following issues only.
(a) Whether he was aware that a clause which requires Lessees from NICIL to secure permission in writing from NICIL before subletting the leased property was included in contracts of four companies.
(b) Whether he knew Horace James, CEO of NICIL
(c) Whether he knew where Horace James was.
(d) Whether he knew James Bond.
(e) Whether he knew Timothy Fisher Sworn Land Surveyor.
(f) Whether he knew various executives of companies which had leased land from NICIL. Some of these leases had the clause which required the written permission from NICIL before subletting and some did not.
(g) Whether he was aware of any Board or cabinet approval for the leases which did require written permission of NICIL before they could sublet the properties.
Mr. Heath London after being informed that he was a suspect and was entitled to exercise the right to silence accepted the invitation of the investigating Officers of the Guyana Police Force and exercised his right to silence.
Mr. London was questioned until 6.30 PM on Friday the 20th November 2020.
AT the time of the execution of the leases subject of the interrogation, Mr. London was not the Chief Executive Officer of NICIL. That office was held by Mr. Horace James now deceased. Mr. London was head of the SPU.
Counsel l for Mr. London pointed out to and provided the investigating ranks with electronic copies of NICIL’s Board minutes and records dated the 15th January 2018, a date prior to the no confidence motion, which recorded the following discussions and decisions of the Board of NICIL.
(a) NICIL’s CEO ( Horace James) duly informed the newly appointed Executive Head of the NICIL/SPU of pans which on stream for the Peter’s Hall area to be designated as an industrial park in support of Guyana’s new O&G sector.
(b) The CEO (Horace James) opined that national’s inability to secure capital to facilitate business alliances such as joint venture arrangements may be stymied. It was therefore put forward by the CEO (Horace James) that lease transactions should be amended to facilitate sub letting thus creating a more competitive platform for local companies and nationals to benefit from this new business opportunity.
(a) NICIL CEO would treat with commissioning of valuation and survey reports, preparation of leases to qualified applicants to facilitate onward subletting by all approved leases
(b) Industrial Parks Lease Transactions to be formulated immediately for the peters Hall area and such areas as Berbice and Demerara were also slated as possible industrial park developments sites to be commissioned
The above NICIL Board Note dated the 2nd January 2018 approved and stamped by the CEO (Horace James ) 12th January 2018 and received by NICIL/SPU on 15th January 2018 is attached for your benefit.
Upon the request of Counsel for Mr. London that he be admitted to bail on Friday the 20th November 2020 he was informed that a decision had been taken that he should not be admitted to bail and no reason for his detention was provided.
Mr. London was transported to the Brickdam Police station where he was detained.
On Saturday the 21st November 2020 the clothing and personal items which had been lodged by Mr. Hamilton in the presence of his counsel the night before had mysteriously disappeared and could not be located. Mr London was denied the opportunity to take a shower or perform the basic personal hygiene measures before been taken away to CIF HQ for further questioning.
The mysterious disappearance of his personal property including his tooth brush and other personal property was duly reported to the investigation rank.
The questioning of Mr. London continued with the further questioning about leases which did not contain the requirement to seek the written approval of NICIL before subletting of the property.
During the questioning of Mr. London he was confronted by the legal officer of NICIL.
The questioning of Mr. London was completed for the day after four hours.
A request for his admission to bail was again denied.
To date the only allegation which has been put to Mr London is that the clause which required the written permission of the lessee to sub let was not included in some contracts.
It was pointed out to the investigating ranks that he omission of the clause which did not require the written permission of NICIL is not a criminal offence and had been sanctioned by the Board as per the board decision.
Counsel for Mr. London further requested the identification of any instrument which purported to prohibit, restrict or circumscribe the inclusion of a clause which permitted the subletting of properties which had been leased by NICIL.
The Investigating officer said that he had not been provided with these.
Upon further inquiry about the identity of the complainant Mr. London was informed that the current board of NICIL had made the complaint.
It has subsequently come to the attention of the lawyers for Mr London that an application to extend the time for his detention is being prepared by Lawyers for the state.
No reason has been provided for the detention of Mr London for carrying out the policy of the Board of Directors for decisions taken prior to the No confidence motion.
The State has not lost any revenue neither has any allegation to date to Mr. London that the rent was below the market rate.
It is noteworthy that former CEO of NICIL for several years, Winston Brassington testifying under oath on the 12th November 2020 said in relation to NICIL and its powers “the articles of incorporation which guide the operations of the entity (NICL) gives it broad and sweeping powers to do practically anything under the sun.”
Dated this 22nd day of November 2020.
C.A. Nigel Hughes
Hughes Fields and Stoby
Counsel for Heath London.