Interim political leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) Jack Warner last evening produced documents that alleged corruption in the construction of the $8 billion highway extension from Golconda to Point Fortin.
Warner produced three copies for compensation of the same plot of land, located in Penal, which he said was first valued at $7.1 million but then jumped to $10.9 million, and by its third valuation was placed at $15.3 million.
He claimed the property was owned by Rawlins Rambaran, a retired engineer from the Trinidad Broadcasting Company and a “very, very close friend” of Works Minister Dr Surujrattan Rambachan.
Warner was at the time speaking at the launch of the ILP’s local government election campaign at Auzonville Car Park, Tunapuna, last evening
“This property which is located at LP #14 Tulsa Road, Penal, was valued by Harland Teemul, a valuator who had first been retained by the Debe to Pt Fortin Action Committee to do private valuations,” Warner claimed.
Warner alleged the valuator and Rambaran met at the “minister’s Lange Park home some time between May 22 and 25”.
Later, the property’s value increased “from $7.1 million in the morning to $10.9 in the evening, to a staggering $15.3 million by the next day”, Warner said.
He had valuation documents related to the property that he said were from Teemul’s company.
“I am also advised that it was agreed to backdate the valuation dates to April 15, 2012 (in two instances) and November 13, 2011 (in the final instance),” he claimed, adding he had copies of the transactions.
The first valuation dated November 13, 2011 stated the land was bought five years ago. The subsequent valuations which carried the same date, April 15, 2012 stated the land was bought four years ago.
The Sunday Express has learned that copies of the valuation of the land were submitted to the National Infrastructure Development Company (Nidco), the agency which is supervising the construction of the Golconda to Point Fortin Highway.
President of Nidco Dr Carson Charles is currently out of the country, but vice-president of Nidco Dinanath Ramkissoon, when contacted, said he was not authorised to speak on behalf of the company.
He however asked the Sunday Express to e-mail questions to him and said he would seek to get a response. There was no response up to last night.
Warner meanwhile told the crowd in Tunapuna that he was “appalled” to read that Minister Rambachan, whom he described as his “nemesis”, denied his (earlier) accusations of corruption taking place in the construction of the highway.
Warner has been buoyed by his victory in the Chaguanas West by-election and is seeking to gain more victories in the local government election, which is constitutionally due by October 26.
He then called on his former Cabinet colleague and current Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran to stand with him to return the country to clean governance which they had promised in 2010.
“And that is why I now call on Minister Dookeran to speak out against the mounting corruption in this People’s Partnership Government.
“Winston, when you signed the Fyzabad Accord on April 21, 2010, this was not what you had signed on for. When I stood next to you, Winston, I saw in you morality in public affairs. You had represented the moral compass,” Warner said.
Following an announcement of a possible delay of the local government election by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Warner said the PM seemed to be once again ignoring the voice of the national community who are calling for a date for the elections.