Court proceedings have been filed by the Commissioner of Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), to obtain certified copies of the Statements of Poll (SoPs) that were in the possession of electoral officials who now stand charged with misconduct in public office.
According to the Notice of Application seen by this publication, Police Commissioner Nigel Hoppie and DPP Shalimar Ali-Hack are seeking orders compelling the Registrar of the High Court to disclose certified copies of the SoPs used by Chief Election Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield and Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo for the March 2, 2020 elections.
The applicants want the copies of the original SoPs lodged in the Registrar’s possession, to be certified by the Registrar and delivered to the Attorney General, Senior Counsel Anil Nandlall and to the Guyana Elections Commission, who are the first and second named respondents.
In the application, it was pointed out that Mingo and Lowenfield, as well as Deputy CEO Roxanne Myers, are charged with misconduct in public office that relates to the declaration of fraudulent votes for the March 2 General and Regional Elections.
Previously the prosecution was in the position of applying to Lowenfield himself for these documents since he was the custodian of the documents. The SoPs and the Statements of Recount (SoRs) that were generated during the 30-day National Recount are necessary in order to prove that the figures submitted by Mingo and Lowenfield did not reflect the true election results.
“By the common law and statute, namely section 50 of the Criminal Law (Procedure) Act, the Commissioner of Police and any member of the Police Force has the lawful right to collect and recover all documents and property which are relevant to the investigation and prosecution of any criminal offence,” the application states.
Meanwhile, the DPP’s affidavit asserted that the documents will prove the defendants’ guilt in criminal offences and will confirm that the defendants deliberately ignored the correct votes and made false declarations “in furtherance of their conspiracy.”
Lowenfield is currently facing three counts of forgery and three counts of misconduct in public office. He has been placed on $300,000 bail. Myers, meanwhile, has been slapped with two counts of misconduct in public office and has been placed on $300,000 bail in relation to both charges.
These two were charged along with GECOM officials including embattled Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo, who is on $600,000 bail for charges similar to what Myers is facing.
Additionally, People’s National Congress Reform Chairperson Volda Lawrence and APNU/AFC activist Carol Joseph are also before the courts on electoral fraud charges. There are also electoral fraud charges against GECOM clerks Denise Bob-Cummings and Michelle Miller and GECOM Elections Officer Shefern February and Information Technology Officer Enrique Livan. They, too, have been released on bail.
Lowenfield’s report claimed that the coalition garnered 171,825 votes while the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) gained 166,343 votes. How he arrived at those figures is still unknown.
The certified results from the recount exercise supervised by GECOM and a high-level team from the Caribbean Community (Caricom) pellucidly showed that the PPP/C won with 233,336 votes while the coalition garnered 217,920.
The recount exercise also proved that Mingo heavily inflated the figures in Region Four – Guyana’s largest voting District – in favour of the then caretaker A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) regime.