Elections inquiry: Fmr. Deputy Police Commissioner denies involvement in efforts to clear Ashmin’s building
Former Deputy Police Commissioner Maxine Graham denied accusations that on March 5, 2020, she was involved in attempts to clear the Ashmin’s building, the 2020 General and Regional elections headquarters, as part of efforts to derail the elections.
The now retired Graham was the commander in charge of operations and the liaison officer to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) during the March 2020 elections.
Testifying before the ongoing Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the elections on Monday, Graham strongly denied accusations levelled against her by other individuals.
She denied telling former Regional Commander #4 Edgar Thomas to clear GECOM Commissioner Sase Gunraj out of the building on March 5. She also denied aiding efforts to remove party agents from the building.
“That is not true. Total untruth,” Graham told the Commission chaired by Justice of the Appeal (retired) of Turks and Caicos Stanley John.
Thomas, who is now an Assistant Police Commissioner and Head of the Presidential Guard, accused Graham of carrying out orders to clear the Ashmin’s building, thereby leaving the Statements of Polls (SOPs) unattended.
He said it was former Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO) Roxanne Myers who engaged police officers to aid her in clearing people out of the building on March 5.
He accused Graham of carrying out Myers’ orders.
Thomas also recalled that despite the threat of a bomb in the building, party agents and observers were not convinced to leave because it would mean that the unfinished tabulation process would be left unattended along with SOPs and other related election materials.
Later that day, Thomas recalled that he heard Myers speaking to Graham on the phone and informed her that ranks were not compliant with her instructions.
Graham, however, said that Myers was in no position to instruct officers to do anything.
“…. she could only make suggestions but those would have to be taken to the Commissioner and he would have to make a decision.
Last week, however, Former Commissioner of Police Leslie James denied ever giving instructions for police officers to clear the building.
On the day in question, officers from the Tactical Services Unit were at the Ashmin’s building attempting to evict persons. Those officers, James said last week, were there because of ensuring “mayhem” broadcast live.
But James said that those ranks may have defied his orders and instead, they attempted to evict people.