Nandlall asks Forde for $3M in costs following challenge to Hicken’s appointment

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Hours after Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George declared that the APNU+AFC opposition’s challenge to the appointment of Clifton Hicken was disingenuous, vexatious and an abuse of the process of the Court, Opposition Parliamentarian and Attorney Roysdale Forde is being asked to pay $3 million in costs.

This is mainly for legal fees and other costs incurred by the Attorney General’s Chambers and other respondents in the matter brought by Forde.

In a letter on Friday, in keeping with the Chief Justice’s order in her judgment, Attorney General Anil Nandlall asked Forde to pay costs in the sum of $3 million.

He also detailed in the letter that Forde has seven days to respond before the respondents in the case make their formal application to the court.

The CJ found that President Dr. Irfaan Ali did not breach the Constitution by choosing Clifton Hicken to act as Police Commissioner.

She refused to grant the orders sought to quash and declare the appointment as null and void.

According to her legal analysis of the matter, the President’s full compliance with the Constitution was impossible because of circumstances beyond his control.

In usual circumstances, as per Article 211 (2) of Guyana’s Constitution, the President is required to meaningfully consult with the Opposition Leader before appointing a substantive Commissioner of Police.

The President is also required to consult with the Chairperson of the Police Service Commission after the Chairperson has consulted with other members of the Commission.

But the Chief Justice said in the absence of both an elected Opposition Leader and an appointed Chairman of the Police Service Commission at the time of Hicken’s appointment in March 2022, the President had to act to ensure there was a Commissioner of Police in place.

Bishop Patrick Findlay was recently appointed PSC Chairperson

She did not consider appointing someone else to be anymore better in response to reasoning by the APNU+AFC that Paul Williams as the Deputy Commissioner should have been appointed to act as Police Commissioner.

Hicken, a substantive Assistant Commissioner who was performing the duties of Deputy Commissioner, was appointed to perform the duties of Police Commissioner effective, March 30.

 

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