In a statement today, Mr. Hughes pointed out that Mr. Heath-London attended the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Police Headquarters Eve Leary on Friday at 8.30 AM in the company of his Attorneys and was arrested immediately upon arrival, on a charge of conspiracy to defraud.
The Statement noted that after being informed that he was a suspect, Heath-London exercised his right to silence at the invitation of the investigating Officers of the Guyana Police Force.
That however did not stop them from asking a barrage of questions which his attorney said had no bearing on responsibilities of Mr. Heath London as “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.”
According to Mr. Hughes’ release, these questions included:
- 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.
- Whether he knew Horace James, CEO of NICIL
- Whether he knew where Horace James was.
- Whether he knew James Bond.
- Whether he knew Timothy Fisher Sworn Land Surveyor.
- 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.
- 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.
The release noted that Counsel for Mr. London 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 informed the new CEO of a number of plans including one “for the Peter’s Hall area to be designated as an industrial park in support of Guyana’s new O&G sector.”
In addition the minutes also indicated where “NICIL’s CEO ( Horace James) duly informed the newly appointed Executive Head of the NICIL/SPU of plans 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
Also the minutes indicated where “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.”
The NICIL Board notes dated January 2, 2018, and provided to the investigators by Heath London’s attorney Nigel Hughes, decisions which were approved and stamped by the CEO (Horace James ) 12th January 2018 and received by NICIL/SPU on 15th January 2018.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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 .
Following the conclusion of his inquisition at 6:30 pm on Friday evening, Mr. Heath-London was refused bail and transferred to the Brickdam Police Station. On Saturday, his clothes mysteriously could not be found, and he 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, his lawyer said.
On Saturday, the inquisition 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.”
According to Mr. Hughes, “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.”
However, “it was pointed out to the investigating ranks that the 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,” the attorney said.
The 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. However, the Investigating officer said that he had not been provided with these, Mr. Hughes said.
Upon further inquiry about the identity of the complainant Mr. London was informed that the current board of NICIL had made the complaint, and 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.
According to Mr. Hughes, “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. In addition “the State has not lost any revenue neither has any allegation to date to Mr. London that the rent was below the market rate.”
The attorney for Mr. Heath London commented that “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.”
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