Cevons told to vacate land it ‘illegally’ leased from Lands & Surveys
Although holding a 50-year lease and with construction well advanced on a building at Area C, Tract B, Le Repentir, Georgetown, Cevons Waste Management Inc. has been asked by the Government of Guyana to vacate the plot of land which it claims was illegally rented.
In a letter to the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Morse Archer, Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC, said Cevons nor its subleases have any right to use or occupy the land.
The land belongs to the National Sports Commission (NSC), something Nandlall said Cevons and the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) are well aware of. The land was leased to Cevons in December 2018 by the GLSC and was approved by the former head of the GLSC.
Nandlall said that although a substantial amount of money was paid for the lease, it was illegal on several fronts. In his letter, the AG reminded Cevons that the company previously held a purported lease from the Georgetown Mayor and City Council for the same land, which had to be voided because the legal title for the land did not belong to the M&CC.
Similarly, the GLSC had no legal authority to lease the land.
To this end, Nandlall said the transaction is unlawful, null, void and of no effect, as is the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the company and GLSC. That MoU contained a promise to sell the land.
Nandlall also noted that the former Lands and Surveys boss had no lawful authority to make such a promise for sale. He said such power resides with the President of Guyana and was never delegated to the Commissioner of Lands.
As a consequence, subleases to Sol Guyana Inc and Corum Restaurants Holdings Inc are also unlawful. The AG reasoned that with the entire transaction being done without the knowledge of the rightful owner of the lands, the National Sports Commission simply compounds the impropriety and illegality with which the transaction was done.
Nandlall said the Sports Commission plans to use the lands for the development of sports and the construction of facilities. Should Cevons fail to remove, the AG threatened that legal proceedings will be filed and the matter will be reported to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for investigation and the laying of criminal charges.