2 corth. 11: For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light….
Nassau, Bahamas — At least 5 cases are logged in Florida Courts of The United States of America in the name of Cornelius Allen Johnson, who is known throughout the Bahamas as “Critical Thinker” and now as Apostle C. Allen Johnson.
What is unknown to many is that the chronic caller here in the country is known to American Authorities and was thrown out of the US.
The crimes are so disturbing to Americans that he cannot get a visa to the US if it was to save his life. He is a national security threat to that country and from what we know – is more dangerous than the law can tell.
According to records supplied to us by the courts, C. Allen Johnson, who is 49, has had run ins with the law at least five times.
In his first case, which opened May 6th, 1986, Apostle Johnson was charged in the 2nd degree for Grand Theft.
According to records shown to us, it was confirmed the matter was heard by Judge Sayfie Nushin G under court case #F-86-012622.
Bahamas Press investigators confirm time was served in this matter. But this was not the end of the Apostle’s crime wave.
Again in 1991 C. Allen Johnson was charged in the Florida Court under case file #F-90-037520. In that case C. Allen Johnson was represented by Yery Marrero and the judge presiding over that incident was Samantha Ruiz-Cohen. In that charge the case confirmed Johnson’s assault on another party, which also included the throwing of a “Deadly Missile”.
Further cases continued in US Florida Courts again in 1990 and another Grand theft charge in 1995 heard under Judge Thomas Rebull. While this case’s records were destroyed, sources have confirmed to us this was the second of its kind against the troubled man, who was eventually shipped back to the Bahamas.
His greatest criminal period was still ahead though, and it came in 1997, just 7 years before he was shipped back to the Bahamas like cargo, and ordered never to return into the US.
Allen Johnson was represented by Patricia Carey Teschner and the case was heard by Judge Dennis J. Murphy.
He was charged for Cell Phone tapping. An exercise which involved more than 50 individuals where he intercepted the lines of private citizens while in the US.
The crimes was the end of the road for his stay in the US, and after 7 years of picking up the soap, US authorities decided that the time to end the Bahamian’s stay in that country had come.
C. Allen Johnson, the now Apostle Rev. Dr., started his lil DVD business on Grand Bahama, and today is some “Critical Thinker” masterminding his way across the talk shows, hoping someone would hear him.
Now you know, all we say is this: There is absolutely nothing better than an informed society!
We ga leave it there for now, and we will be back, but, we return to our regular news programme…
Madame President; I along with thousands of Bahamians were shocked, distressed and deeply saddened to hear of the unrest and, some say, riots and mayhem that occurred over the past weekend in the Bain Town community. The headlines of two of the major dailies blared:
“Riot in Bain Town and Bain Town Rage.”
The police to their credit were seen to be bringing the matter under control and tensions having eased, they were seen to be conducting a walkabout in the area in the days following those unfortunate events.
Interestingly we have heard not a word from the Minister or Ministry of National Security. Not a word. Mum’s the word!
These events represent just a glimpse of the explosion of the rage, the anger, the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness simmering barely beneath the surface in many of our communities.
Over the past weekend there were a reported three homicides in New Providence. Another one was reported yesterday. The homicide count now stands at a reported eighty six (86); surpassing last year’s total with over a month left in the year.
The heads of the Accident and Emergency Section at the Princess Margaret Hospital were in the press recently telling us that they are overwhelmed with the amount of trauma cases that they have to deal with; gunshot wounds, stabbings and choppings. They are finding it nearly impossible to cope.
The Princess Margaret Hospital is overwhelmed; there are reports of insufficient beds to accommodate the patients. The Princess Margaret Hospital and other public health facilities are struggling to accommodate the patient load as the stagnant economy pushes more and more people into public facilities as they can no longer afford to go to the private clinics.
There continue to be reports of shortages of basic supplies in the Princess Margaret Hospital and other public health facilities.
The police, pastors and professional counselors all tell us that the rates of suicide and suicide attempts in the Bahamas are at levels never seen before; the result of hopelessness, helplessness and social upheaval due in large part to the dismal economy.
The economy continues to stagnate and can not create the numbers of jobs needed to employ displaced and laid off workers and new entrants into the work force. Since 2007 at least 20,000 students have left high school alone; not counting college graduates and persons who have returned from abroad.
These are but a few of the pressing the issues that should be exercising our minds and consuming our time. These are the issues that concern the Bahamian public the most. These are the issues that the people of the Bahamas want their leaders, their parliament to address. Instead of addressing these issues, what we have here in this Honourable Senate is another bash Christie session. It seems that the playbook of this FNM administration is “when all else fails, bash Christie”. When their failures and shortcomings have been exposed; blame it on the PLP.
Madame President, there is an old saying that goes:
“You can’t have your cake and eat it too”.
If you want to have your cake you can not eat it, and if you eat your cake, you can no longer have it. The gist of the saying is that you can not, at the same time, hold two positions, two opinions that are contrary to each other. In other words, you can not have it both ways. You have to make a decision and live with the consequences.
It is very apparent that in relation to the debate on this resolution, what the government is seeking to do is to have their cake and eat it too.
On the one hand they seek to vilify the Progressive Liberal Party and in particular Perry Christie for “giving away the land” (in their words); and on the other hand they sing the high praises of the project.
Which one is? Is it a giveaway or is it a transformative project? Is it bad or is it good? This administration should make up its mid quickly so that we can move on.
The facts are very simple; the BahaMar project was part of a larger and very ambitious vision of the Progressive Liberal Party to transform the island of New Providence by:
• moving the port to the southwest of New Providence,
• a complete redevelopment of downtown Nassau to include commercial and residential development and green spaces,
• a new ultra modern Straw Market,
• the Albany project in the Southwest,
• the redevelopment and modernization of the Lynden Pindling International Airport.
The aim of this ambitious and wide ranging vision was to inject life into a faltering tourism product by making Nassau an exciting destination again.
At all stages, professional advice was sought from both inside and outside the public service and decisions were made based on what the Progressive Liberal Party thought at the time was in the best interest of the majority of the Bahamian people. The leader of the Progressive Liberal Party has said on numerous occasions inside and outside Parliament that he takes full responsibility for and stands by the decisions he and his cabinet made.
All of these projects were in various stages of development or implementation when the Progressive Liberal Party lost the elections and demitted office in May 2007.
Now the FNM came to office in 2007 and by 2008 had agreed a supplementary Heads of Agreement with the developers of BahaMar.
The FNM took out what they wanted to take out of the deal negotiated with BahaMar by the Progressive Liberal Party and they left in what they wanted to leave in. So whatever is in the deal between the Government of the Bahamas and the BahaMar developers is there because this administration wanted to keep it there; full stop.
They took out what they wanted to take out and they left in what they wanted to leave in. In fact, if they wanted to, if they felt it was such a bad deal, they could have cancelled the agreement altogether.
In the PLP agreement there was no limit on Bahamian participation. No $200 million limit, no limit at all. In the PLP agreement there was no 8,150 work permits. There was no Chinese involvement at all. There was a commitment to maximize Bahamian participation at all levels. No limits.
I along with many Bahamians eagerly await the laying of the so called secret deals on the table. The PLP was accused of entering into secret deals with BahaMar. Now that the present administration has all the files, please lay the secret agreements so that all Bahamians may see them. While you are at it, please reveal the names of the “PLP insiders” who were supposedly buying BTC.
I listen to the speakers and on the one hand they lament what they call the great land giveaway; and right away praise the project and in fact brazenly seek to take ownership of it.
On the issue of the sale of the Radisson hotel; the sale of loss making properties is not something that originated with the immediate past administration. We know the story of what are now Breezes and Sandals and the other properties of the Hotel Corporation. They were sold under former FNM administrations. The rationale being that the new owners would inject money into the projects and revitalize them. The same is true for Radisson.
The model used to attract investment to this country has been used by successive administrations for over fifty years. Investors are encouraged to come to the Bahamas and as an inducement, various concessions are offered. Of late the issue of how much, if any concessions should be offered to potential investors has been hotly debated. The bottom line is that in an ever shrinking world the competition for capital is intense. So we either play that game or change the game. I will come back to this.
The BahaMar project appears to be going forward, in the other place, a resolution was passed unanimously in support of the project.
I believe that we now need to turn our attention to doing the things that are necessary to ensure that the project succeeds, that the maximum benefits are derived for Bahamians in terms of employment, business opportunities and other spinoff activity and that as a going concern the projects succeeds.
It is also time to begin to listen to the ever growing number of voices in the country that say we need to develop an alternative model; one that involves more ownership and control of our main industry and more involvement of Bahamians at the very highest levels. Notwithstanding the fact that the many small operators, in transportation, small resorts etc, are owners, the feeling is that Bahamians need to own some big properties.
What are some of the things that threaten this development and our tourism industry and therefore our economy at large?
Not only does violent crime take a tremendous human toll in terms of loss of life, injury, impacts on the family and the spread of fear among other effects, uncontrolled violent crime has an economic impact.
The World Bank published a report in March 2007 titled “Crime, Violence, and Development: Trends, Costs and Policy Options in the Caribbean”
The report directly links the rate of economic growth in the region to the level of violent crime. In fact it places a figure on the amount of additional growth possible for some countries if the rate of homicide were reduced.
Among the findings:
• “Crime and violence are a development issue. The high rates of crime and violence in the region have both direct effects on human welfare in the short run and longer run effects on economic growth and social development.”
• “There is an over-reliance on the criminal justice approach to crime reduction to the detriment of other complementary approaches which can be effective in reducing certain types of crime and violence. Crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED), the study and design of environments to encourage desirable behavior and discourage antisocial behavior has significant potential to generate rapid decreases in property crime and some forms of interpersonal violence. These programs, by combining modern methods of policing with prevention interventions undertaken by both government and non-governmental organizations are extremely promising.”
• “To address the issue of youth violence, policy makers in the short run should borrow from the toolkit of evidence-based programs from other regions, such as early childhood development and mentoring programs, interventions to increase retention of high risk youth in secondary schools and opening schools after-hours and on week-ends to offer youth attractive activities to occupy their free time. While there are a multitude of programs in the region that address youth violence, few if any have been subject to rigorous impact evaluation. In the medium and long run, impact evaluations should systematically document what works in youth violence prevention in the Caribbean.”
The Caribbean has some of the highest rates of violent crime in the world and the Bahamas has some of the highest rates of violent crime in the Caribbean.
Here we have a detailed study telling us what we should already know. Crime directly has a negative effect on the economy and the high rates of crime, particularly violent crime in the Bahamas pose a very serious threat to the future economic well being of Bahamians.
Surely we can not expect visitors to flock to our shores when violent crime continues unabated and the response from the policy makers seems to be one of surrender.
In order for Bahamians to feel safe in their communities and workplaces and for our economy to recover and thrive violent crime must be attacked aggressively using many tools.
I agree with all who say that crime is a national problem; but the government must exercise leadership in this issue. That leadership should not be restricted to giving the police the resources they need to fight crime. Equal attention should be paid to prevention, rehabilitation and reintegration into the society.
Crime is not just a human and public issue but also an economic issue that threatens to plunge this nation into a vicious cycle of declining economic activity and rising violent crime.
I call on the government to put all the options on the table and roll out a comprehensive crime fighting strategy.
It would be a powerful indication of the level of this administration’s commitment to fighting crime if instead of borrowing $58 million to build a road; it used that $58 million to fight crime and ensure that Bahamians are no longer paralyzed with the fear of crime. Fear that has made Bahamians feel unsafe even in their own homes.
The way forward and ensuring Bahamian ownership
As I said earlier, increasingly we hear calls from members of the public, for an alternative model of development that:
• Lessens our reliance on foreign investors, because Bahamians have become increasing skeptical of the concessions granted to investors and the view that our nation is seemingly held hostage waiting for foreign investors to come along and develop our country for us
• Involves more Bahamian ownership of the larger and visibly successful touristic developments.
The Central Bank of the Bahamas in its Monthly Economic and Financial Developments report for September 2010 indicates that there is in excess of $5.6 billion on deposit in financial institutions.
Is it possible for us to make the determination, as a nation, to direct some of those funds to economically viable projects in the tourism industry?
I believe that by inviting small Bahamian investors to pool their funds and have these funds directed by professional managers operating under prescribed guidelines and accountable to shareholders, to viable projects; we can increase local ownership of the tourism industry, engender more pride in our industry and our country and thereby improve our tourism product.
So instead of abolishing the Hotel Corporation perhaps we can use this as a vehicle where, with the proper corporate governance and skilled management in place, opportunities may be identified for development. This body would then invite investors to participate, undertake negotiations with the government for concessions, and put the necessary teams in place to construct and manage the properties with the profits going to the shareholders, the Bahamian public.
The argument against is that the government should not be in business and that the experience thus far has not been good.
We must have the national resolve if we want to see more ownership that we will not allow the system to be abused. Alternatively perhaps the answer is to privatize the Hotel Corporation.
So for example the corporation may identify the potential for a small resort on Cat Island, the studies would be done, the business plan drawn up, negotiations undertaken with the government for concessions, investments invited from small and large investors, if necessary additional capital may be raised from the banks, the proper construction teams and upon completion the proper management teams are put in place to successfully run the operation.
The corporation would not be accountable to government but directly to the shareholders.
In essence we look internally for development funding instead of waiting for the foreign investor to come to save us.
Small investors would essentially participate in an IPO we can broaden ownership of the industry and ensure that tourism is everyone’s business. I believe that this is an avenue worth pursuing.
We must now begin to identify the opportunities that will be available for Bahamians in the BahaMar project. By identifying potential entrepreneurs may begin preparing themselves now by saving money toward starting their business and getting the necessary training and doing the necessary business plans. If we identify these now and begin to plan now, Bahamian entrepreneurs would get a head start and not be caught flatfooted trying to scramble to get ready when the project is completed. We have the institutions in place in the form of BAIC and the BDB that can take on this mission.
This project as well as the airport provides opportunities for a new class of entrepreneurs to take off. We must do what is necessary now to ensure that the same old players do not continue to get the best opportunities and everyone else is left to scramble over the leavings. Let us equip our people now to be able to acquire the skills, knowledge and information necessary to compete with the established business class.
In conclusion, I always prefer to look forward.
The citizens of this nation are looking to us not to be constantly sniping at each other, but to come together to arrive at solutions to this nation’s problems and to create opportunities for our people. If we fail in our responsibilities more and more people will simply opt out of the system because they feel it no longer serves them. They will no longer participate in the political process and they will seek their own form of justice.
When that happens we have all failed.
I support the resolution and look forward to the successful implementation of the project.
Paradise Island, Bahamas — From the voices of many, ‘We The People’ is a statement found in declarations all over the world. Somehow this week, the first 30 along with members of civil society, have come together in an attempt to chart a course and rescue the nation.
Everyone agrees the country is headed in the wrong direction. Everyone is determined to Change the Bahamas but no one is willing to say how and why?
Welcoming the community to the promised ‘ACTION MOVEMENT’ was the man who is at the centre of the sale of BTC, Julian Francis. Heading the group is the man who is leading the opposition to Baha Mar’s single-phase development, Ed Fields.
Amidst the special guests list of who’s who was Dame Marguerite Pindling and Former Governor General, SirOrville Turnquest, Ed’s father-in-law.
The list of special guests mingled with members of the media read like a list crafted by event organizers at Buckingham Palace. On the big screens were all members of affluent Bahamas, people who normally wine and dine together, while we the natives sit on the sidelines.
The pragmatists in the room would all agree WE NEED CHANGE in our Bahamas, but what we found interesting is this, there was no blame. For example, no one suggested why is it CRIME is a such blight in our communities.
As we watched, we wondered had anyone accepted the fact that in almost every school in the Bahamas, there are an infestation of gangs from the Principal down to grade one? Government policies sought to rectify these issues by infiltrating the school with police officers and cushion it with a WORLD CLASS programme of community policing. The innocent attempt here was to weed out the gun totting ganja pushers and warlords in our communities! But some of the very people in the room agreed with the “EMPTY SCATTER BRAIN” decision by Papa to have the project STOP, CANCELLED, AND REVIEWED!
WE ‘Da’ People cannot and will not move an inch forward in the country unless or until they come straight and bold like BP and call the JACKASS by his name! Clean suits, well-choreographed lighting, A-rating PR and beautiful looking people cannot deliver Change in the Bahamas!
The Bahamas needs more TRUTH TELLING ORGANIZATIONS WHO WILL TELL THE WUTLESS POLITICAL LEADERSHIP now sitting at the top of the country to CARRY ‘DEY’ YOU_KNOW_WHAT! We need more organizations to speak truth to power! Someone who ‘ga’ tell the police to stop breaking into the jailhouse to thief public money!
We need more people to start taking pictures of these dope-selling houses and send the intel to BP and the media! We need more concerned parents to stop and talk with their children and ask them why in the hell they carrying knife, bazooka, pistols and warheads into the classrooms.
As long as the Haitian vendors sit on corner of Potter’s Cay Dock, and the ‘Privileged’ Bahamian vendor sit on the next; both watching while another body gets dump into the harbour saying not a damn word; Ain’t nothing ‘ga’ change!
While those vendors turn a blind eye to crime and Ingraham continues to rape the treasury raise the national debt and build a new port for 19 wealthy political benefactors at the expense of the taxpayers, ain’t nothing ‘ga’ change!
And to make matters worse, BP can’t join because no anonymity is allowed in ‘WE DA PEOPLE’ therefore, we as sure as hell know nothing ‘ga’ change!
So like we say, the Haitian one way, the Bahamians another, Bay Street in there special corner and one group now dancing in King Sol Kerzner’s palace “WE ‘DA’ PEOPLE” is truly what we call the Bahamas. We always say this is one damn JUNKANOO Society!
Nassau, Bahamas — Bahamas Press is investigating the events surrounding an allege sexual assault on the campus of the College of the Bahamas.
BP has been told the incident involves a male expiate teacher and a student. While details are sketchy, we are told the allege incident occurred on the college’s Oakes Field campus, and has left the student traumatized and suicidal following the alleged incident.
The educator we are told serves in the technology section of the institution and directs 300 level courses.
Due to the incident, we have learnt the educator was placed on academic leave, with no official word coming from the leadership at the College.
“The teacher in questioned currently hasn’t been seen in his six classes and has been absent for the past three weeks now. We have had no word from the head of the department on the matter. There has been no word on what’s going on as midterm exams are fast approaching,” a student told BP.
BP advises the administration to address the matter immediately before we are forced to unleash a vicious cut_YOU_KNOW_WHAT on the institution. Children go to school to LEARN NOT GET BASTARDIZE!
Nassau, Bahamas – Breaking news coming to our news desk early this morning confirms a young woman has died after being diagnosed with dengue fever.
Officials confirmed earlier this week there were 16 reported cases of the disease in the capital and reported that fogging exercises throughout the island had continued, however, health officials failed to confirm or deny the reported death, which occurred on Tuesday.
BP has learnt the young woman, who is identified as, Kayla Farrington, is the mother of three and is in her late twenties. She had recently graduated with honours at a College in the Caribbean an had recently returned back to the capital to practice in medicine.
Health officials across the region are concerned about the near epidemic level of mosquito-borne dengue fever, saying it could get more severe as the rainy season progresses.
The high number of cases that have caused dozens of deaths across the area are being blamed on warmer than usual weather and an unusually early rainy season, which has, in turn, caused an explosion in the mosquito population, the Associated Press reported this week.
Sources in the OPM told BP, “We are monitoring the situation and we are attempting to increase fogging exercises to prevent the spread of the disease here in the capital.”
Officials are tight-lipped on the women’s death, but have increased advertising and promotions on prevention and what signs to look for.
The Parliament met yesterday, however, no public pronouncements were presented on the near pandemic. Dr. Hubert Minnis we are told is out of the country, with no update as to where the minister travels have taken him. Tommy Turnquest told the House the Minister of Health was on leave and said nothing further to Parliamentarians.
There is also a fear that the outbreak might spread to the United States. Dengue, once thought gone from the U.S., has been suspected in a case in Miami. Though test results came back negative, a recent study showed that five percent of people living in Key West had been exposed to the disease, which can cause fever, headaches and extreme muscle pain.
A relative of the young girl told BP, “I am finding it hard to believe we let dengue kill someone…they don’t fog the areas anymore? This is sad a shocking.”
The young woman is said to have begin her practise in pharmacy early this year.
Nassau, Bahamas — On Friday, 17 September, 2010 sometime shortly after 11:00 am., a traffic police officer while on routine traffic Patrol duties in the area of Robinson Road near R. M. Bailey Park, observed a male in a maroon 2000 Chevy Cavalier registration #209536, operating the vehicle in a suspicious manner.
The officer motioned for the driver to pull over and then proceeded to approach the vehicle. After identifying himself, he ordered the driver out of the vehicle, it is reported that the officer commenced searching the vehicle.
While searching the front interior driver side of the vehicle, it is reported that the officer discovered two packages of a substance believed to be marijuana. It was at this point, the driver reportedly produced a knife and proceeded to attack the officer while at the same time attempting to disarm him of his service weapon. During this altercation, the officer discharged his weapon which resulted in the suspect being struck to the left buttock. Suspect fell into the vehicle.
As a result of this, the suspect was arrested, both the drugs and knife were confiscated and the vehicle impounded. The suspect was transported to PMH via ambulance where his injuries are described as not life threatening.
The suspect is a thirty year-old resident of Rosedale Street. He is expected to be charged in connection with these matters. The police officer received no injuries. Investigations continue.
Nassau, Bahamas — Bahamas Press encourages educators across the country to complete the work they started this summer and completely get rid of the current leadership of the Bahamas Union of Teachers [BUT] and elect a new team to lead the organization.
At August AGM, educators from around the country sent home in the middle of their term Belinda Wilson and her executive team. Subscribers should understand teachers have had enough of the poor leadership sitting at the head of the BUT.
Teachers saw under Belinda her silence on their protections in the classroom and how she turned a blind-eye to the unending level of injustice plaguing the system of education. Teachers are sick and tired of the neglect and abandonment of a voice to speak truth to power. They are tired of the trickery and treachery practised by the outgoing President of the BUT. But most of all they are sick and plain tired of the ABUSE; naked abuse practised by team Belinda Wilson and her last administration!
Who would allow $70,000 of their pension money to be removed out of the bank account, without knowledge and approval? Who would allow all that money to be spent with no one giving account? Who would allow all that money to be removed and not have all return?
We ask Belinda the following questions:
Why was $70,000 in teacher’s pension funds removed from the Pension account of the BUT?
Why was the $70,000 removed without the approvals of the elected Treasurer and Executive Committee?
Why was all of the teachers’ money from their pension fund not returned?
To this day pension money set aside for educators – removed out of its Bank account by Belinda – has yet to be returned to the account of the Bahamas Union of Teachers. Bahamas Press believes this act by the outgoing president is appalling, disgusting, OVERLY NASTY and downright wicked. It was illegal, out of order and warrants an absolute removal from office!
We cannot comprehend the actions of the OUTGOING PRESIDENT who we believe acted alone in her treacherous, untrustworthy, underhanded, shady rape of the teachers’ money.
Therefore, it is incumbent on voters in these elections to reject the Former!
Teachers need somebody honest! They need an individual that is LOYAL! The need someone who will protect the money and keep the shady dealers from the COOKIE JAR! They need someone trustworthy and the OUTGOING PRESIDENT represents none of the above.
Bahamas Press calls on all educators to VOTE THEM OUT! Yesterday, it was $70,000 tomorrow it may be more! WE SAY REJECT BELINDA WILSON AND HER TEAM!
Hubert Ingraham had enough sense to get rid of Carl “Undernourished” Bethel and now educators hold the power to get rid of Belinda Wilson this September.
THE JUSTICE LEAGUE
Nassau, N.P., Bahamas
6th September 2010
Mr. Elliston Greenslade
Commissioner of Police
The Royal Bahamas Police Force
Dear Mr. Greenslade:
We wish to urgently meet with you to discuss the need for a FULL and OPEN investigation into the Case of Rape Victim Cindy Williams of Freeport Grand Bahama and her harassment and sexual assault by 2 officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force. We firmly believe that the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) have conducted themselves in a manner that is in direct conflict with several of the basic duties that Bahamian Citizens expect of the Police, with the understanding that it is the Solemn Duty of RBPF to protect citizens and enforce the law.
The breaches of duty, which we reference, on behalf of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, the courts, prosecutors, and the entire system of enforcing and adjudicating justice, are the reasons we must act on behalf of this citizen who has been violated, mishandled, mistreated, ignored and simply served a great injustice by our entire system. Citizens must fear that if this has happened to the rape victim Cindy Williams, it can happen to any mother, sister, or daughter. Certainly this level of injustice can be visited on any one of us. In the Letter from the Birmingham Jail, the great Dr. Martin Luther King, in one of his many moments of civic, social, and spiritual profundity said “INJUSTICE ANYWHERE IS A THREAT TO JUSTICE EVERYWHERE”. We say the system of injustice MUST END NOW.
CINDY WILLIAMS began her most egregious journey within our system, that is seemingly incapable of Justice in 2007, when she reported her rape; she was treated with no sensitivity by investigating officers. The alleged rapist received police bail, which is outrageous for someone being charged for rape. The preliminary hearing was delayed several times because the alleged rapist failed to appear. No bench warrant was issued for his arrest. The Rape victim received threatening text messages, which was brought before the magistrate and the evidence was misplaced by the police. The alleged rapist harassed the Rape Victim at her job on several occasions; the police was called and the Rape Victim was informed that there was nothing that the police could do. The alleged rapist admitted the harassment on the job before the courts, and the magistrate said that four visits to the rape victim’s job was not sufficient evidence to revoke the bail of the Alleged Rapist. The preliminary hearing was held 3 years after charges were filed, and the DNA evidence has still not been processed. The crime scene photos have still not been developed.
The Rape Victim, Cindy Williams, attempted to get justice by making her story public particularly with her appearances on Citizens’ Review with Erin Ferguson and the New Nation with Lincoln Bain. Upon returning to Freeport, Grand Bahama she was pulled over by police 1 hour after returning home, and was sexually assaulted and threatened with death using a deadly weapon (Gun) by two (2) Police officers in a Police Squad Car. She reported this to the police. Mr. Quinn McCartney, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police with charge over Grand Bahama has not offered any protection to this rape victim after she made a complaint of being sexually assaulted and threatened with death by Officers of the Law. Quinn McCartney has also refused to conduct an Identification Parade of potential suspects within the Police department, although the rape victim made it clear in her statement that she is able to identify one of the officers.
WE HAVE REASON TO BELIEVE THAT NO INVESTIGATION IS BEING CONDUCTED.
This case is demonstrative of a systematic breach of duties by members of The Royal Bahamas Police Force, the Courts, and the Prosecutors in all areas of duty including complete lack of professionalism, failure to enforce the law, refusal to protect victims, insensitivity towards victims of rape, no basic understanding of the law or duties of law enforcement officers, lack of training necessary to properly execute duties, outright misconduct on behalf of law enforcement, refusal to follow evidence-gathering procedures, refusal to conduct Identification procedures for the primary suspect in a major crime, violent crimes committed against citizens by Law enforcement, law enforcement threatening witnesses of a major crime, and any number of other violations on behalf of all systems involved. The amalgamation of these violations is tantamount to HAVING NO JUSTICE SYSTEM AT ALL, or A SYSTEM THAT HAS FOUND ITSELF MORE CRIMINALLY DESTRUCTIVE TO CITIZENS THAN THE AVERAGE THUG.
Again We firmly believe that the Royal Bahamas Police Force have conducted themselves in a manner that is in direct conflict with several of the basic duties that Bahamian Citizens should expect of the Police. We hereby, as citizens in this country who expect protection from those charged to protect us, DEMAND a FULL and OPEN investigation into the case of Rape Victim Cindy Williams of Freeport Grand Bahama and her harassment and sexual assault by 2 officers of the Police Force. We also demand that those found acting outside of the law or their duties in this case experience punishment to fullest extent of the law.
Erin Ferguson, President – Justice League
Lincoln Bain, Vice President – Justice League
Ethric Bowe, Secretary – Justice League
CC: Mr. Hubert Alexander Ingraham, Prime Minister
Mr. Michael Barnett, Chief Justice
Mr. John Delaney, Attorney General
Mr. C. Allen Johnson
Nassau, Bahamas — Pleasant Bridgewater may indeed be a free woman as we reported to you the more than 10 days ago. And now a lawyer in a position to know has stated, for the record, what we reported and gives insights to the future of the case scheduled to begin tomorrow morning.
Lawyer for Tarino Lightboure, Carlson Shurland, has confirmed to reporters there are new developments, which can offset the successes of having a case.
Shurland told reporters, “I can confirm that the Travolta’s new attorney Mr. Michael Perkins was in discussion with myself in connection with Mr. Travolta’s position regarding the continued prosecution of this matter.
“I also confirm that Mr. Tarino Lightbourne would have entered into an agreement with the Travoltas whereby he would not discuss this case in the news, tabloids, television, or any media with regard to profiting from the story on the understanding that Mr. Travolta will not voluntarily pursue this matter.”
Shurland further confirmed to BP, “That agreement was entered to in writing signed by the parties. I was in discussion with the Attorney General’s office and they are insistent on continuing with this trial on Monday the 6th [tomorrow]. And our position remains the same in terms of preparing for the defense, and we are still very confident that Mr. Lightborne would be found not guilty.”
Sources close to the American actor have also confirmed to BP, The Travoltas are expecting a child, and thus the family seeks not to bring any stress to his wife.
You would recall the matter of extortion was alleged to have been committed following the death of Jett Travolta, the 16-year-old son of John Travolta and Kelly Preston.
Jett died while the Travoltas vacationed at a resort on Grand Bahama. The Bahamian attorney, Pleasant Bridgewater and ambulance driver Tarino Lightbourne had both pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The entire case was hampered following an apparent leak from a member of the jury. Justice Anita Allen then ordered a retrial and dismissed the jury following the revelation.
Readers would remember the case being filled with political hoopla was fast tracked to the Supreme Court.
West End and Bimini MP, Obie Wilchcombe was also arrested in the matter and was said by former defense attorney, Murrio Ducille, to have been the “Initiator” of the entire $25 million plot to extort money from the Travoltas.
A constituent in the Marco City constituency told BP, “Pleasant was always the innocent victim in all this. She only functioned as an attorney. But we all on Grand Bahama believe the ‘Snitch’ had everything to do with this and Mr. Christie needs to trip his [expletive] down as a candidate in the next election. We do not support his betrayal of this innocent woman and will not endorse him in the next election.”
In typical Christie style, Wilchcombe rather than being demoted was promoted following his devastating defeat in his bid to become deputy leader of the Party.
“The PLP cannot win an election with such tricksters on the ticket. The PLP needs to get rid of all the crooks, extortionists and all and come clean to the Bahamian people,” a spokesman for the PLP on Grand Bahama said.
Meanwhile Wayne Munroe defense attorney for Bridgewater told BP, “I am preparing my case for the defense, however, I am not concern whether or not the Travoltas come or not. For even if they come believe I doubt there will be a case.”
Nassau, Bahamas — BP sources deep inside the FNM have sent a shocking piece to us and all we could say is this: “The cannibals are eating the baby inside the FNM.”
Scandalous news emanating from the walls inside of the Free National Movement confirms a ‘political bloodbath’ is eminent; as the Party hierarchy is crafting a plot to unseat the popular MP for Bamboo Town, Branville McCartney.
Party insiders have confirmed to Bahamas Press maneuvers now underway could destabilize the organization and cripple its chances of being elected at the next general elections.
Further the source told BP: “The move to cannibalize McCartney could force five already disgruntled MPs to shift the balance of power within the Parliament and form for the second time in our history a coalition government in the Bahamas; possibly crowning Perry Christie Prime Minister in the mid-term of Hubert Ingraham’s reign.”
Bahamas Press has learned efforts are now underway to move McCartney’s constituency boundaries outside areas known to him. They are also plotting, we are told, to not make Mr. McCartney aware of those boundaries changes until very late before the ‘big dance’, thereby slimming his chances to canvass the area in time.
Sources close to the alleged plot now afoot noted: “They are proposing to move large sections of Bamboo Town and place them into a section of the old Golden Gates constituency, thereby forcing a head to head battle between popular PLP MP, Shane Gibson and McCartney. The move is clearly set to make slim Bran’s return to the Parliament and thus chopping off his political legs.” But will this work?
Sources close to team Branville said when contacted on these events, “Mr. McCartney is not a divider but a unifier. His call is to service is to the People and therefore he is not concerned as to what may befall him. The mandate will be passed over for the People to decide who they seek to lead them moving forward, and Mr. McCartney is ready and prepared to offer himself once again in service to the People of the Bahamas.” But will factions supporting McCartney for the leadership of the FNM sit idle at the plot to retire him politically?
An MP angered with moves by the Party’s hierarchy said, “Five plus one makes six and perhaps if indeed there is an attempt to amputate the ‘political legs’ of our finest MP by those who seek to lead the FNM, then we will have the magic number to crown Christie Prime Minister of the Bahamas without going to an election.
“This will make Ingraham the first government in the history of the country to not have lived out its full term; forcing the formation of a coalition government between six independent MPs and 17 PLP MPs.”
News of this late breaking story has already sent shock waves inside the walls of the FNM, which we are told is set to elect a committee to oversee the preparations for a November 2010 Convention.
If the conclave is confirmed and not postponed as speculated by Chairman Carl Bethel, the organization could face the bloodiest fight in its history of Conventions for the top post of Party Leader.
Whispers have it McCartney will contest the leadership post no matter who offers, and we are told support for his bid is building inside and outside the organization.
However, with this breaking news coming late Saturday evening, whether a Conclave is called or not, it could spell trouble for the FNM leadership.
McCartney resigned from the Ingraham Cabinet on March 1st where he issued a press statement stating, “The factors that motivated this, run the full gamut of issues and emotions; some more compelling than others. In the forefront are my feelings of stagnation and inability to fully utilize my political potential at this time…it is also my belief that our current political system is headed in the wrong direction…respect must be the order of the day no matter your political persuasion.”
BP has learned the government is set to appoint the Boundaries Commission this October. We have learned Tommy Turnquest and Charles Maynard will represent the Government on that committee. It is also speculated PLP Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador MP, Philip ‘Brave’ Davis, will represent the Opposition.
Nassau, Bahamas – ZNS press statement reports two BEC truck operators went to its 1540 AM transmission site in the southern end of the island and following that visit station went off air. The copper fitted in the tower was stolen, and as they say the rest is history.
This was the third copper theft at the station’s transmission site.
Now this is interesting because a security is on guard in the area 24 -7. Bahamas Press went to the site some weeks ago, and we reported how after two earlier copper thefts at the same location, the area was still not gated, and a derelict boat was sitting on the government land.
Days after were reported ZNS never did a damn thing and now once again thieves have made good on expensive public equipment.
The security officer never reported the names of the men coming onto the property. The officer never confirmed to ZNS head office of the invasion by the BEC work cruises. The officer never took the plate number of the vehicles, so who do you think should be implicated here; THE BEC truck drivers or the security officer?
BP wonders when in the hell will this society get it right? Here is a clear example of BLATANT WUTLESSNESS and NEGLIGENCE!
Here we go again is FAILURE MANAGE BY TOMMY TURNQUEST!
THE Bahamas appears to have an unfocused immigration strategy, with politicians seemingly adopting a deer-in-the-headlights outlook whilst fretfully pondering the political risks of possibly offending an emerging, purportedly independent “new generation” of voters (offspring of migrants) and satisfying the anti-illegal immigrant stance of traditional Bahamian voters.
Of late, the immigration policies of the Bahamas have not been enunciated and the department has seemingly adopted a more reactive than proactive approach, diverting much of its resources to apprehension and repatriation exercises.
Immigration enforcement is imperative!
Illegal immigration is far more complex than mere round-ups and repatriations. In this country, immigration is an emotive and divisive issue that leaves many Bahamians hyperventilating and demanding waves of apprehensions and deportations.
The current approach to immigration has manifestly failed. That said, the country’s human capital is lagging and we therefore must not adopt an anti-immigrant outlook in today’s increasingly globalized society.
The Department of Immigration must allot resources to properly educating foreigners on legal ways to access this country, particularly those whose frequent attempts at repeated illegal re-entry make repatriation efforts seem like a futile endeavour. We must become conscious of the complexities of illegal immigration and cease our one-dimensional approach to immigration.
Moreover, the Department of Labour should conduct an inventory of the country’s labour needs, granting work permits to incorporate immigrants into a labour system where there are shortages or a lack of local expertise. Quite honestly, a scientific approach should be taken to gauge the number of immigrants, particularly as Haitians are hardly the only foreign nationals illegally violating our sovereign space and it can assist with policy formation.
Currently, there are more immigrants–many illegal–on Abaco than native Bahamians. I’m also informed that in areas such as Rock Crusher (New Providence), the majority of residences are occupied by Haitians, rented to them by unscrupulous Bahamians who charge ridiculous rates, contingent upon a head count. Pockets of Carmichael, Joe Farrington Roads, Over-the-Hill and Cowpen Road remain hotbeds for illegal immigrants.
According to a recent New York Times report, addressing the latest changes to Arizona state’s immigration laws, the law “called for (police) officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws and that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times.”
The NY Times report further states:
“The law also makes it a state crime–a misdemeanour–to not carry immigration papers. In addition, it allows people to sue local government or agencies if they believe federal or state immigration law is not being enforced.”
I support the notion of a greater and closer coordination between the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Immigration officers and the Royal Bahamas Police Force in the fight against illegal immigration. Locally, imposing new requirements of police officers related to the enforcement of our immigration laws is an aspect of the Arizona law worth adopting. A few years ago, when I travelled to Europe, my hosts advised that I constantly travel with my passport as it is a practice–in places such as France, Holland and Germany, etc–for police to request identification and documentation on highways, trains and buses.
In November 2006, current Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said that immigration raids almost exclusively target poor black neighbourhood, while wealthy individuals who “pay to play” are not required to have their immigration applications scrutinized. Indeed, whilst Haitians constitute the largest bloc of illegal and legal immigrants, there are certain classes of immigrants (usually white collar workers)–Americans, Chinese, Canadians, Europeans–who get a free pass.
The Prime Minister has also promised to revisit the Immigration Act and its accompanying regulations while proposing amendments to foster transparency relative to various aspects of the processes at the Department of Immigration.
Immigration–particularly the influx of Haitian immigrants–has been a strain on our social systems and public resources. From the 18th century to the mid-20ths century, the interaction between Haitians and Bahamians was mostly by trade. Based upon statistics presented in an academic paper by Patricia Dorsette, the steady stream of Haitian migrants began in 1948.
Over time, Haitians have become itinerant travellers whose powerful ambition to escape their bleak circumstances has become a burden on their neighbours.
The global economic downturn and recent tragic earthquake has made the economic prospects for Haitians seem even gloomier.
Following the catastrophic earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Prime Minister Ingraham decided to temporarily grant status (for six months) to the Haitian migrants housed at the Detention Centre. At that time, the PM’s decision to release the Haitians – even with temporary status – was met with a chorus of dissent and questions about its legality as local radio talk shows were bombarded by livid callers. Indeed, outright disbelief and cynicism was expressed in some quarters about the Prime Minister’s decision.
Last month, six months had passed since the Haitian earthquake and the granting of an amnesty. However, little has been said about the whereabouts of those immigrants who were released from the detention centre under the premise of a compassionate amnesty.
Over the century or so, Haiti has been overwhelmed by abject and systemic poverty, desolation, a wretched economy and unsavoury regimes. Frankly, that nation’s history has been marked by violence and turmoil. After a disheveled band of rebels defeated Napoleon’s army and became the first nation established by slaves, the French contributed to Haiti’s underdevelopment by demanding a large, unjust indemnity for the loss of slaves.
Haiti is on the brink of anarchy, falling deeper into the abyss of impoverishment that many have tried so desperately to avoid.
Bahamians are apprehensive about an invasion of Haitians, as there is little doubt among the general populace that rickety sloops – with countless Haitians wedged in their bellies in scenes reminiscent of the slave trade–are doggedly making the trek to the Bahamas from this ravaged land.
In the Bahamas, the crux of the matter regarding undocumented Haitians is the numbers, particularly as the inner city and some family island settlements are swollen with migrants – many of whom are here illegally. Today, they comprise a sizeable percentage of the work force, working many low-end jobs that Bahamians reject and/or working for lower wages (e.g. construction, agriculture, cooks, house cleaners/maids, yard work, etc).
Indeed, the government must enforce the law and revoke the business licenses of persons hiring all illegal immigrants, threatening them with a prison sentence and, in the case of repeat offenders, seizing businesses. Traffickers of illegal migrants must be charged with treason while the migrants themselves should be charged with misdemeanours or felonies, depending upon the specifics of their offences which can vary from illegal entry charges to much more. Moreover, heavy fines should be levied against landlords who rent to and harbour these individuals.
The Department of Immigration must begin conducting “silent raids”, reviewing the files of businesses suspected of hiring illegal immigrant workers and conducting worksite round-ups. Immigration officers can start at almost any construction site! According to the NY Times, the Obama administration has taken on the imitative of “silent raids”, forcing “businesses to fire every suspected illegal immigrant on payroll.”
Indeed, there is a pressing need for an overhaul of our immigration laws whilst biting the bullet and granting legal status to the children of immigrants. It appears that we have no other choice but to face reality and address the regularization and incorporation of qualifying persons into our society.
The department must also allot resources to properly educating foreigners on legal ways to access this country, particularly those whose frequent attempts at repeated illegal re-entry make repatriation efforts seem like a futile endeavour.
In addition to a country-wide immigration dragnet, cracking down on human smuggling and intensifying immigration enforcement at all likely entrance points into the Bahamas–from Inagua to Abaco to Lyford Cay, etcetera–is of the essence. Continuous Defense Force patrols should be carried out throughout the archipelago and around the entire perimeter of New Providence–the Bahamas’ main illegal immigrant hotspot. Because the Bahamas has an extensive, porous border–particularly to the south–the government should seek to purchase (or pursue donations of) unmanned surveillance drones and helicopters to police the border (the helicopter/s can also be utilized for police pursuits). Moreover, road blocks and random boarding and inspections of passengers onboard jitneys should be undertaken by Immigration officers in their pursuit of undocumented immigrants.
What’s more, a more comprehensive vetting and investigation process should be undertaken when granting and renewing work permits. Further, senior executives and other high-level or white collar foreign workers must be required to pay a much higher fee for work permits than that which is paid for maids and farmhands. In maintaining proper, internationally-accepted profiles, the Department of Immigration should also seek to fingerprint persons entering the country for work-related purposes.
In the next week or so, I intend to visit a Haitian shanty town–with a Creole-speaking handler–to see, and document, migration as it’s viewed from their perspective.
Nassau, Bahamas — BP has its eyes on the road and what a sight we saw growing at the Old Trail Cemetery. Incredibly, weeds in the graveyard just off Abundant Life Road have gown into a wild bush, HIGH BUSH will give be a better description of the situation.
Look how in the Bahamas Bahamians honour their dead. MY GOODNESS! Who in this country would leave the remains of their love ones, particularly they MAMMA, in the bush? This cannot be the Bahamas we inherited where the dead is left under a heap bush and wild trees.
Could some one please tell us what the department of the environmental health is doing to fix this neglect? If they were not so busy in the gambling dens of this city perhaps the neglect of the dead would not be so shocking. But take a minute and see for yourselves what we saw. The sight is indeed shocking, ‘unbeautiful’ and disgusting.
Where is the FNM of 1997, which cleaned Nassau ‘spick and span’?
Nassau, Bahamas – Bahamas Press is puzzled by what is unfolding with this robbery trial in the Supreme Court. We reported how on Saturday night a witness to the robbery at Prince Charles in 2007, Raymond Bastian, was gunned down near the Solomon’s Supercentre. His three-month-old baby girl was also shot in the head during the incident.
The trial was to begin Tuesday, but on that same morning defence attorney for accuse Ryan Butler, Romauld Ferreira, was attacked outside his parking lot by a machete welding man, who nearly chopped him in the head. The incident took place just a stone’s throw away from the police headquarters and just a block from the courts.
Ferreira appeared in court on Wednesday with his head bandage like a Taliban as he showed signs of quick recovery following his almost deadly attack.
Today, we are getting fresh news, which confirms one of the officers, crown witnesses in the trial, home was shoot-up by some Somalian gangster last night. WHAT IS THIS!?
Justice in the Bahamas is under a vicious brutal attack while the WUTLESS minister of national security says “CRIME IS UNDER CONTROL”? What utter nonsense!!!! If
We in the Bahamas Need CHANGE! We need a modern-day Woodes Rodgers to expel these pirates who are determined to overthrow law and order in this society at any cost.
What will we see next, armed men abducting public officers?
When will Hubert Ingraham find the BALLS, FIRE TOMMY and to do what he is elected to do?
A BP NEWS ALERT: CLICK TO WATCH: http://www.accuweather.com/video/90494793001/bilo-breakdown-can-hurricanes.asp
Nassau, Bahamas — BP is reporting plans are underway to active NEMA as the Bahamas monitors Hurricane Earl. The weather system is projected to move nearby the country sometime by Tuesday. Earl has been upgraded as a Category 1 early this afternoon.
BP invites all local residents to get prepared. Click on BP’s Weather Centre for all breaking updates at www.bahamaspress.com.
With Hurricane Earl’s damaging winds and torrential rain set to slam the Leeward Islands tonight into Monday, residents should be rushing to complete preparations.
Earl strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane earlier this morning, the third hurricane of the season.
Strong winds high in the atmosphere (also known as wind shear) associated with Hurricane Danielle had been inhibiting Earl’s ability to strengthen. That changed this morning as Danielle pushed farther away to the northeast.
Earl will continue to grow into a stronger Category 1 hurricane into tonight, curving slightly more to the northwest in the process.
That slight turn should spare the Leeward Islands from a direct hit by Hurricane Earl. However, Earl will pass close enough to unleash most of its fury on the islands.
Conditions will continue to deteriorate across the Leeward Islands into this evening as Hurricane Earl approaches. Bands of rain squalls will become more frequent, and gusty winds will increase to tropical storm force this evening.
Damaging hurricane-force winds will blast the Leeward Islands late tonight into Monday. The strongest winds will whip over the northernmost islands.
The strength of the Earl’s winds threaten to cause widespread tree damage and power outages. As the trees fall, additional structural damage and bodily harm may result.
Roof damage is the main concern to well-built homes, but poorly-constructed homes may be destroyed or severely damaged.
Earl’s torrential rain bands will also spread over the Leeward Islands tonight into Monday. Several inches of rain will pour down, threatening to cause flooding.
Seas surrounding the islands will become dangerously rough into tonight with wave heights reaching 12 to 18 feet on north-facing coastal areas.
On Monday, wave heights will build along the northern shores of Puerto Rico. Earl, however, should pass far enough to the north that the island will escape hurricane-force winds.
The danger still exists for Earl’s tropical storm-force winds and outer bands of heavy rain to graze the island.
Seas will then get stirred up along the coasts of Hispaniola and the Bahamas into midweek as Earl curves to the northwest, potentially becoming a major hurricane.
Later in the week is when Hurricane Earl threatens to come dangerously close to the East Coast of the United States.
Admittedly, I was surprised that my column on the importance of specialized courts and the alleviation of the current case backlog and published in The Tribune on August 13, 2010, seemingly incensed at least one former Cabinet minister so acutely.
Former Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson wrote a letter, ubiquitously published in the major dailies and—I’m told—has been on a publicity tour and virally reproduced on several websites, criticizing me for a quote on the Coroners Court, while seemingly dismissing the entire article and obvious research. In her letter, she repeatedly stated and implied that I was not “minded to find out the facts and write the truth” and that my piece lacked “research.”
When taken as a whole, I found such tact—relative to my overall research— preposterous, particularly since my piece relied heavily upon the seminal work of noted law professor/author Rose-Marie Belle Antoine and featured distinguished legal theorists Boris Kozolchyk and Joseph Raz.
I bow to her knowledge as to the nature of the separation of powers. Frankly, the former minister has had firsthand experience with the debacle of former Registrar General Elizabeth Thompson, where an error in judgment subsequently caused the country precious money.
It is my fervent hope that she didn’t take what was meant as a plea to modernize and create a more efficient justice system as an attack on her tenure as Attorney General. At the time of writing, she was far removed from my mind. I am also hopeful that this spirited attack does not stem from my past analysis and/or criticisms of policies proposed by her or related happenings for which she had oversight or was a participant.
At one point in her letter, Mrs Gibson stated: “I was the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs at the time. I deplore Adrian Gibson’s irresponsible and untruthful allegations and aspersions against the Executive.”
Regrettably, the aforesaid is mere sensationalism and misinformation as I never sought to cast “irresponsible and untruthful allegations and aspersions against the Executive.” The objective of the column was patently clear.
As a student of law and a historian, I have an appreciation for the concept of the separation of powers. First coined by Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), the separation of powers is a constitution doctrine intended to make certain that the functions, personnel and powers of the institutions of the state are not fused in any one body.
Whilst I accept Allyson Maynard-Gibson’s position as to the discontinuation of the Coroners Court in its capacity as a specialist court, I must state that the court is a creature of statute and therefore is also subject to changes and/or abrogation by the Legislature.
Regarding Mrs Maynard-Gibson’s comments about the Executive, there is local case law that should have demonstrated this principle of law. In D’Arcy Ryan v Minister of Home Affairs/Immigration, Mr Ryan—a “belonger”—was unconstitutionally denied his right to citizenship—contrary to the Bahamas Nationality Act (1973)—purportedly due to his political leanings.
Ryan’s case was heard by the Privy Council, which unanimously held that:
“On the facts disclosed to this court, no reasonable minister acting with due sense of his responsibilities under the legislation would, at the inception of these proceedings, have been justified in refusing the appellant’s application for registration as a citizen. In the facts as disclosed to us registration could be refused only by acting perversely”.
The late Sir Clement Maynard, Allyson Maynard-Gibson’s father and the then Minister of Immigration/Home Affairs, “acted perversely” and derisively disregarded the Privy Council’s ruling.
Upon reading Mrs Maynard-Gibson’s letter, where she asserted that I wrote “irresponsible and untruthful allegations and aspersions against the Executive,” one remembers studying this case, which was an affront to judicial independence and slighted the conventional notion of a separation of powers.
Furthermore, the Supreme Court justice—who made the original order to grant Mr Ryan’s citizenship—was caught-up in the midst of an attempt by the then Attorney General to have him disqualify himself from hearing an application to commit the Minister of Home Affairs to prison for contempt of court after his refusal to comply with the aforementioned Privy Council ruling. The judge held that it would be a dereliction of his duty and breach of his oath to accede to the minister’s request.
Moreover, in recent years, former Supreme Court Justice John Lyons contended—while on the Bench—that the ‘swift justice’ initiative, promoted by Allyson Maynard-Gibson during her tenure as Attorney General, was merely a “self-promoting piece of headline hunting.” Furthermore, former Justice Lyons condemned an internal report on the ‘swift justice’ initiative, likening it to a “school-master’s report or human resources manager’s report of what is happening in a named judge’s court.” Essentially, the report appeared to grade judges on the rate of convictions in their courts.
What’s more, many people know that according to the Constitution, the Prime Minister (a member of the executive), in consultation with the Leader of the Opposition, recommends to the Governor General appointees to the posts of Chief Justice and President of the Court of Appeal. Even more, the Chief Justice is known to liaise with the Executive on administrative matters affecting the Judiciary.
In my previous column, I was simply pointing out the flaws in the judicial system and recommending likely overhauls and fixes, however it appears that Allyson Maynard-Gibson was the only one who took umbrage to it despite the fact that she was one of the better Attorneys General that we’ve had.
Nassau, Bahamas —Bishop Simeon B. Hall espoused in a front page article in the Torch [Tribune] this week the need for the Ministry of Education to ban educators who are “homosexuals, lesbians, and heterosexual predators”.
Welding his voice as the “moral authority” in the country Hall said, “It is incredulous that some incidences of sexual abuse could exist in some schools without someone making an outcry. It is my humble opinion that the Ministry of Education could be liable if it allows ‘known’ sexual deviants to remain in the nation’s classrooms.
“You don’t put ‘the fox to tend the chickens’. Parents themselves must do more and recognize that theirs is the responsibility to protect their children. Some parents knowingly prostitute the innocence of their children for a couple of dollars,” he said.
In less than 24-hours of the Bishop’s warning to the MOE a ‘fairy’ from inside the Progressive Young Liberals [PYL] snapped to his toes to rebuke the senior churchman.
The aspiring young liberal and PM “wannabe” suggested that the comments by the churchman were unwelcome in this era of liberal tolerance.
We at BP could only wonder whom in that Party of Fairies, Fairy God-Mothers, Pussy Cats, Prima Donnas and NAKED Jackasses could have authorized the ‘baby’ to take on the pastor?
Here again is a classic case of the liberals of the country pushing down the throats of the Bahamian people their unwanted bile of ‘untamed carnal delights’. The Bahamian roots run deep in conservatism. It is no wonder the FNM continues to reap greater support election after election.
And while the young fairy decided to take on the ‘Religious Right’ in the Bahamas, you would remember Andre Birbal; the man who is alleged to have molested more than 20 boys at the Eight Mile Rock High School.
When the incidents were unfolding we at BP wonder where was that young fairy in the PLP? Where was his pen? Where was his letter to the press? Where was the voice of the PYL? Could you imagine that, young people getting rape under WUTLESS leadership and the young people inside the PLP says not a DAMN WORD about it?
We would be remiss if we not remember the work of, Glenys Hanna-Martin, who took on the fight for an inquiry into those incidents. However, should not members of the PYL concern themselves with more pressing issues facing the country’s youth? And why send a paper in the name of the PLP to the media calling for tolerance with rogue educators? The argument cannot be won in the Bahamas!
The PYL should become busy writing letters where in a time of great crisis in education, how Hubert Ingraham is cutting grants, stipends, funding and emoluments in the education department.
They should be pointing to the people how Hubert Ingraham and Carl Bethel fired teachers and terminated the contacts of educators in 2009.
The PYL should find its voice on how the Ingraham Government suspended the Guarantee Loan Programme, which cancelled the hopes and dreams of hundred of young people from attaining a College degree.
Should not the PYL find pen and paper to discuss how Carl Bethel left in shambles the structures of the condemned Government High School putting as risks thousands of educators and students? Should they not ask why is it a school in Oakes Field is taking more than 3 years to complete although it was near completion under Christie?
Should they not be concerned with the state of education where students were being turned away cannot not find seating in the classrooms across the country?
When will the PYL come and find one bone in their brittle spine to talk about the facts facing our young people? The failed youth and sports programmes and the lack of vision and planning for the department, which is being ran into the ground by the ‘Pillsbury Doughboy’?
When will they find pen to discuss the rising tide of blood racing down the drains of the Bahamas; painting the streets red a washed in blood one soul after the another?
Do they not care about these things?
Members of the PYL make no commentary on these, but mention the word “Sissy” and someone [and these days the young in the PYL] gets offended.
Marsh Harbour, Abaco – International flights into the Marsh Harbour Airport have been suspended by the Federal Aviation Administration [FAA] for the past three weeks now and the Bahamian media has reported not ‘a-lick’ of the news.
BP has learned all international flights have been suspended at the airport following discovery that the facility has no functioning emergency equipment.
Two months back BP reported how the bathroom was in a deplorable condition being out of order for weeks, suggesting that if a passenger wanted to use it they would have to find the nearest bush.
How could a government be so neglectful in seeing the need to upgrade the facility, which is the gateway for hundreds of winter residents who are major players of the tourism product on that island?
During an address in Abaco in July this year, Chairman of the PLP, Bradley Roberts hinted of the pending stop of international flight to the hub as he outlined how plans to build a new terminal in Abaco was STOPPED AND CANCELED by the Ingraham administration.
“Glenys Hanna-Martin, the former Minister of Transport, led the charge for a new modern International Terminal Building and Control Tower which were designed by an Architect Firm that specializes in designing Aerodromes. I approved a long list of Construction Companies to bid on the construction. This was stopped and cancelled by Hubert Ingraham who decided that Abaco’s most urgent need was an Administration Building rather that a badly long overdue Terminal Building and Control Tower,” Roberts said.
“Abaco I am surprised that you continue to embrace this man [Hubert Ingraham] who makes decisions for Abaco without consultation and some here in Abaco would still say that Hubert is simply the best. It’s absolutely incredible and I am obliged to remind you that where there is no vision, the people perish.”
Bahamas Press has learned the suspension by the FAA has created major problems for scores of passengers headed to the island many of who sought to enjoy vacation during the summer months.
The closed flights to the community represents an absolute neglect by the Ingraham Government and is a reflection of Ingraham naked abandonment to the people of Abaco which he represents in the Parliament.
This is the second time the FAA has suspended international flights coming into a local airport terminal in the Bahamas. In 2008, again under Ingraham’s WATCH, the FAA closed international flights at another airport in the Bahamas.
I hasten to assure the Bahamian community that despite the rumors that abound the demise of City Markets is not imminent.
The company just like many others enterprises, locally and internationally, is having to fight through hardships created by the meltdown of world economies and the impact upon all business sectors in the Bahamas”.
In addition to the difficulties caused by a poor economy, the company suffered a series of serious maintenance problems with refrigeration in a number of stores. I am now pleased to say that the problems have been corrected and we are back to normal. Further, to restore customer confidence in our business we are about to embark upon an impressive promotional campaign”.
On the question of the status of jobs for our employees We have no immediate plans for reducing the workforce however; as we continue to manage and control our operating costs, some employees may be affected.
On another note the company has been forced to face another daunting problem and that is one related to “shrink” of inventory. We know that ‘shrink’ should be in the range of 2% or lower, but our ‘shrink’ size is about 6% of sales. The cost to the company is substantial.
We have instituted much stricter inventory and financial controls and are hopeful that this financial drain will be substantially reduced. Additionally, we have put in place an incentive programme for our employees which has been well received.