President David Granger, acting in accordance with Article 225 (6) of the Constitution of Guyana, has suspended the Chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC), Carvil Duncan, with immediate effect, pending the outcome of the proceedings of the Tribunal, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of the Presidency, earlier today.
In the suspension letter dated October 10, 2016, Duncan was also informed that he was suspended from performing the Constitutional functions as an ex-officio member of the Judicial Service Commission, the Police Service Commission and other functions as an ex-officio member of the Commissions of the Board of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).
On September 15, 2016, the President, in accordance with Article 225 (4) of the Constitution, appointed a Tribunal to inquire, investigate and recommend whether Duncan ought to be removed from office for inability to discharge the functions of his constitutional posts.
Prior to that, Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo had written to Duncan calling on him to explain why a Tribunal should not be appointed. However, this letter went unanswered.
Duncan later claimed that he had never received any correspondence from the Prime Minister.
Unfortunately for Duncan, the Tribunal is in receipt of evidence supporting the stance that Nagamootoo’s letter was delivered by the Guyana Post Office Corporation.
Additionally, in a release issued last Saturday, Duncan alleged that he was offered a “financial package” in exchange for his resignation.
Following this allegation, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon has categorically denied the assertion made by Duncan, highlighting that both himself and the President had met with Duncan in an effort to have him voluntarily vacate the Constitutional positions he holds, since it is undesirable for someone who is facing criminal charges to hold these positions.
Duncan is presently before the court on fraud charges after it was revealed that he paid himself approximately $1M and allegedly conspired with the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Power and Light, Aeshwar Deonarine, for an unapproved transfer of approximately $27M into the latter’s account.
Members of the Tribunal, Justice Roxanne George-Wiltshire, Justice (ret’d) Winston Patterson and Attorney-at-Law, Mr. Robert Ramcharran, are expected to present their report to the President on or before Monday, October 31, 2016.
However, Duncan plans to move to the High Court to challenge the authority of the tribunal.
On Monday, Duncan and his lawyer, Anil Nandall were seen exiting the tribunal at the Training Centre of the Ministry.
Nandall indicated that Duncan will move to the High Court later in the week on three grounds- that there are criminal proceedings pending in the Magistrates’ Courts; Duncan never received a letter from Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo calling on him to show cause why the tribunal should not be established; and that his client has been called before the tribunal whose Chairman is a sitting High Court Judge—of whom Duncan exercises supervisory jurisdiction.