Jagdeo says SOCU’s visit was a test to see if Govt will be treated the same

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Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo as he made his way from the SOCU compound

The recent decision to attend an interview with investigators of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) was to test the system and set a precedent for others to follow, Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has revealed.

“I went there, I could’ve said that I choose to remain silent like everyone who had gone in there but I used the constitutional provision that is there because I want it tested. And the testing sets a precedent” Jagdeo said.

He was explaining to members of the press why he decided to adhere to a request for an interview with SOCU last week.

“Now that I have gone in although I’m a constitutional post holder and as chairman of the cabinet, I still attended the interview when I could’ve refused it, I expect reciprocity in terms of how Government officials will be treated”  the former President explained.

Jagdeo said he was assured by Head of SOCU Sydney James that in spite of Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson sending a statement he will have to attend an interview.

Referencing Patterson, the Opposition Leader said “I hope you will do the same thing that I did and that is I informed the press before I went there as I promised at my press conference so they had a nice picture of me going into SOCU”.

Moreover, Jagdeo said he also expects that all Cabinet members including President David Granger will visit SOCU since they approved Patterson’s contract when they had no authority to do so.

The contract in question was awarded to Dutch company, LievenseCSO, for a feasibility study into the new Demerara River bridge.

The Opposition had requested that the Public Procurement Commission investigate the award of the $148 million sole sourced contract.

In its report on the matter, the Commission flagged Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson for requesting from Cabinet that the contract be sole sourced, instead of being processed through the Procurement Board as the law says should be done.

It was subsequently announced that SOCU would be investigating the contract award.

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