Saturday, February 24, 2018

Ramesh: Money wasted to change CLICO attorneys

Attorney Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj SC, representing the CLICO United Policyholders Group, yesterday called on the Government to explain why the team of lawyers representing the Ministry of Finance was fired in the middle of a Commission of Enquiry into the collapse of CLICO.

Maharaj questioned why more money is being spent on legal fees, instead of paying the full sum of money due on policy holders' Executive Flexible Premium Annuities (EFPA).

Speaking at a meeting with CLICO policy holders at City Hall auditorium, San Fernando, Maharaj said, "In the middle of a Commission of Enquiry one set of lawyers are relieved and new lawyers are appointed. The Government will have to pay more money for those lawyers. You have distinguished lawyers like Mr Fyard Hosein and Mr (Michael) Quamina who were appearing for the Government, but they were just relieved and a new group of lawyers have come into the picture. Those money which the Government wasting, can help to pay EFPA policy holders."

The Express learned that the legal team headed by Hosein SC and Quamina was dismissed last week. They were hired by the Ministry of Finance under Winston Dookeran.

They have been replaced by Seenath Jairam SC, leading Jagdeo Singh and Joseph Toney.

"The time has come for me to say that governance under the partnership to the EFPA policyholders has demonstrated that it has ignored the rights of the EFPA policyholders, it has decided that it can violate the rights. Governance under the (People's) Partnership seems to be a Governance without morality, ethics or human value, honesty or integrity. This type of governance has damaged the image and reputation of Trinidad and Tobago when it decided not to pay EFPA policy holders. The investor confidence was damaged the election promises made by this Government to bring about change of governance in Trinidad and Tobago with openness, transparency honest and people participation has been shown to be lies and obviously intended to fool the electorate," Maharaj said.

He said the latest move by the Government was not being supported by the "rank and file" of the United National Congress or the Congress of the People. See Page 8