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GUYANA | Opposition cries victimization, demands release of Colvin Heath London

Featured Former CEO of NICIL, Mr. Colvin Heath-London Former CEO of NICIL, Mr. Colvin Heath-London
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, November 21, 2020 -  Guyana's main opposition APNU/AFC coalition, has 'vehemently condemned' the police detention detention of the former Chief Executive Officer of the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Ltd. (NICIL), Mr. Colvin Heath-London, and demand his immediate release.

Heath-London was detained, when accompanied by his attorney Nigel Hughes, he voluntartily attended the police station and was reportedly questioned  on matters concerning the distribution of state lands which came under the authority of the NICIL.

The Coalition statement said "Mr. London was detained on Friday, November 20 and remains in police custody with no clear reason or explanation. This is another spurious set of trumped up concoctions aimed specifically at terrorising Afro-Guyanese specifically and perceived supporters of the APNU/AFC Coalition generally."

The PPP regime’s campaign of terror against the public service and Afro-Guyanese continues to intensify with wanton disregard for the constitutional rights of persons and the law.

The APNU/AFC Coalition vehemently condemns the detention of former Chief Executive Officer of NICIL Mr. Colvin Heath London.

"Mr. London is not a politician, he is a highly regarded professional who worked tirelessly on behalf of the people of Guyana," the APNU/AFC statement said.

The PPP regime’s campaign of terror, victimization and persecution has now ensnared Mr. London. It is clear that the PPP regime will do whatever it can to attempt to taint the good professional reputation of Mr. London in their pursuit of vendetta against the APNU/AFC Coalition whose record in government they are jealous of, cannot match and are seeking to taint.

The APNU/AFC statement said "this is obscene and contemptible and we demand his immediate release from custody."

Member of Parliament Jermaine Figueira, in defence of Heath London, wrote in the Kaieteur News that  “NICIL, under the stewardship of Mr. Heath-London, pursued very rigid due diligence procedures and compiled a ‘Land Use Policy’. This policy document allowed for a clear alignment of the processes involved in lands under NICIL’s remit. All of these transactions were approved by NICIL’s board, not the individual being victimised and vilified by the PPP henchman.”

He described the government's action against Herath London as “another glaring example of the government’s act of political witch hunting and ethnic cleansing, aimed at tarnishing the good reputation of African, Indigenous and East Indian Guyanese professionals whom they deemed were aligned to the Coalition administration.”

Prior to going to Guyana where he was first employed by the Guyana Sugar Company, and by NICIL in 2018, Mr. Heath London was the Senior Business Development Manager, CHECAMERICAS at China Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd in Jamaica.

Heath London, as Business Development Manager for China Harbour, led negotiations with the PPP for the Cheddi Jagan International Airport Expansion project, still being undertaken, the contract for which was signed on the 11th of November 2011.

mohamed irfaan ali 460Former Housing Minister, now President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan AliIn the meanime, there are concerns that the government's move against Heath London, may be in reprisal for the 19 fraud charges laid against Mohamed Irfaan Ali during the Granger led administration, over the sale of land in the ‘Pradoville 2’ Housing Scheme when he was Minister of Housing during the Jagdeo adfministration.

Ali was charged by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU),  over the allocation of house lots to Cabinet members and other persons in the Pradoville 2 Housing Scheme during his tenure as Housing Minister. The basis of the charges is that the lands were sold far below their value.

The charges, which detail offences alleged to have occurred between the period of September 2010 to March 2015, involve housing allocations to six Cabinet members—former president Bharrat Jagdeo, Cabinet Secretary Dr Roger Luncheon and Ministers Priya Manickchand, Dr Jennifer Westford, Robert Persaud and Clement Rohee—along with other persons with connections to the then PPP/C government.

At the time, Ali was seeking from the Court, a declaration that there was no statutory or common law duty to obtain a valuation prior to the sale of property. bHe was  also seeking among other things, a declaration that the particulars of the charges do not constitute an offence known to law and contravene Section 144(4) of the Constitution.

The section provides, “No person shall be held to be guilty of a criminal offence on account of any act or omission that did not, at the time it took place, constitute such an offence, and no penalty shall be imposed for any criminal offence that is more severe in degree or nature than the most severe penalty that might have been imposed for that offence at the time when it was committed.” 

In August, Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan Friday dismissed the 19 fraud-related charges against President Irfaan Ali after he was elected president of Guyana, following an application by his attorney Devindra Kissoon  for the charges to be dismissed on the basis that the president is immune from suit as per Article 182 of the Constitution.

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  • Countries: Guyana

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