Sunday, January 21, 2018

TOP leader fails to stop meeting

 Leader of the Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) Ashworth Jack failed to stop a meeting scheduled to be held in Tobago today by Delmon Baker, Anslem Richards and Stanley Beard. 

Baker, who is Tobago Affairs Minister, said yesterday an injunction had been filed in the High Court to stop the party’s meeting and was unsuccessful in its primary objective. 

He said “ancillary issues” raised in the injunction were the use of the party’s name and its symbol in the advertisements for the meeting. He said although his name was on the injunction because he was given the court documents very late (“I only received my document this morning and I need to put a legal team together”), he could not be part of the teleconferencing which took place between the judge in Trinidad and the two other members in Tobago. 

Baker said he was advised that the other two members (Richards and Beard) agreed not to use the party’s symbol and name in the advertisements and agreed specifically to remove the name and symbol from the ads by three o’clock yesterday afternoon.

Baker said the judge found the way the injunction was filed was “improper” and that a claim could be filed at a later date. Baker said today’s meeting was “on” and he expected a “full turnout of the TOP’s membership”. 

A release issued by Ashworth Jack stated that an application for an injunction was filed on Friday at 7 p.m. by Jack on behalf of the TOP against Baker, Richards and Beard as representatives of the breakaway faction, TOP Forward Movement. 

“The injunction sought to stop the TOP Forward Movement from using the name of the TOP and its logo and more particularly to stop the Forward Movement from using the TOP name and logo in relation to a meeting to be held on Sunday 22nd June purporting to be a meeting of the TOP,” the release stated..

The matter was heard before Madame Justice Mira Dean-Amorer at the High Court yesterday morning at 10 a.m. The release said TOP was represented by advocate attorney, Jerome Herrera and instructing attorney, Raymond Roberts “who argued that the defendants had no authority under the constitution of the TOP to convene such a meeting with the purpose of amending the constitution of the TOP or setting any date for internal elections especially in light of the fact the TOP Forward Movement or the Interim Committee as they have also called themselves, have no constitutional backing. Moreover it was argued that the defendants had no authority to use the TOP name and logo in relation to their meetings”.

The release said the defendants, with the exception of Baker attended the hearing via teleconference. After the three-hour hearing of the application, the defendants gave the undertaking to forthwith discontinue the advertisements on television, radio and on the Facebook page of the TOP and an undertaking to forthwith refrain from using the TOP’s name and logo in association with today’s meeting. 

The case against the defendants continues for the misuse of the TOP name and logo and has been adjourned to a date to be fixed, the release said.