“IF their allegation is I am successful and I have gotten work, that allegation I must admit is true.”
This was the response from attorney Om Lalla yesterday to claims made by Dr Roodal Moonilal on a United National Congress (UNC) political platform on Monday night.
Moonilal claimed Lalla, whom he dubbed the “$10 million man”, benefitted handsomely from the State because of former Cabinet minister Jack Warner. Warner is the interim leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP). Lalla is the ILP’s candidate for the St Joseph by-election.
Both Warner and Lalla addressed Moonilal’s claims during a walkabout yesterday along Quarry Drive, Champs Fleurs. Lalla said all the contracts he and his family received from the State were above board. Warner said he was not responsible for awarding State contracts.
“If he (Moonilal) is aggrieved by the fact that I am successful I am sorry for him,” Lalla said.
Lalla said he would allow Moonilal the opportunity to peruse his accounts.
“I didn’t hear Dr Moonilal but what he was referring to is several contracts that may or may not have been given to companies I am associated with,” Lalla said.
“I will say that I have done work for various bodies under this administration and even under the PNM (People’s National Movement). My law firm is over 55 years old. We have been in the business of law for a very long time. We do a lot of private sector work, a lot of public sector work we tender on a regular basis for work,” he said.
“I am a lawyer for hire and my firm is a firm for hire,” Lalla said.
Lalla said he believes Moonilal is scraping the bottom of the pit to try to malign his name for the sake of achieving political mileage.
“At the end of the day all of the transactions I have done, all the contracts we may have gotten or briefs we may have received in respect to legal work have been above board and can be scrutinised,” Lalla said.
“I think Dr Moonilal is just scraping the bottom of the barrel to try to impugn my character and that of my family. I don’t think he can make any allegation of corruption or impropriety,” he said.
“If he (Moonilal) wishes to go through all my accounts he is free to call me and do so,” Lalla said.
He described it as a “red herring”.
Warner said he would not “dignify” Moonilal’s nonsense with a response.
“I don’t give contracts to anybody. The ministry does I have never influenced any contract,” Warner said.
Warner called on Moonilal to talk about State contracts awarded to his brother, Michael.