By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Ombudsman Justice Winston Moore has categorically denied any attempt to stigmatize the New Building Society (NBS); refuting too that his recent report on a complaint by NBS’ former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Maurice Arjoon, arising out of a prosecution for fraud at the institution, was unfair.
Arjoon had sent a written complaint to the Ombudsman, alleging that multiplicities of wrongs were done to him and two other senior Managers of the NBS who were dismissed during investigations into fraud at the institution in 2006.
In Justice Moore’s report which received widespread condemnation from several government functionaries, he upheld Arjoon’s assertions that wrongdoings were done to him and two others by public officials.
At a press conference today, Friday November 28, the Ombudsman defended his jurisdiction in the matter; pointing out that both his authority and limitation in dealing with matters are clearly listed in the constitution.
He said he was never concerned with the manner in which NBS dealt with its staff but was always worried about the accusations made against public officials.
He explained that indeed his investigation led him along a trail that ended with the prosecution involving the three individuals but said there was no evidence that the managers were linked to the multi – million dollar fraud.
He said there was absolutely no evidence found that there was even the intention to defraud or to support allegations of conspiracy.
The Ombudsman explained that the current matter before the Court is a civil one brought against NBS by the three individuals, rejecting claims that his report could affect that matter.
He warned that his report however did not reveal all the information he gathered during his investigation and it was merely half of what was unearthed.
He chronicled how he went about his investigation in a very public manner; pointing out that no objections or questions in relation to his jurisdiction were raised up until the report was leaked to media.
On this note the Ombudsman said he cannot be held responsible for reports in the media and called on those criticizing his work to extract where he has been unfair.
Justice Moore said media reports implying that the Former President Bharrat Jagdeo was involved in victimization were extremely unfair. He explained that those were merely allegations being made by Arjoon and not his findings.
He urged persons to ensure they read the report carefully before responding to the contents and not to be carried away by sensational reporting in the media.
Several persons have expressed worry that there seems to be a lot of spin, political and otherwise, on the Ombudsman’s report which is gives the impression as if senior Government functionaries, including the former President, had a hand in some form of victimization.
NBS itself had said however that Arjoon and the other senior managers were dismissed for dereliction of duty, negligence and serious misconduct.