Following the arrest and subsequent release of Opposition Parliamentarian Bishop Juan Edghill, his Parliamentary colleague and attorney, Anil Nandlall articulated that those persons who are responsible for the “unlawful” arrest and detention of Edghill will be sued both in their personal and official capacities.
Nandlall during an Opposition press briefing on Tuesday posited that questions in relation to Edghill’s arrests, who ordered his arrest and the offences for which he was being arrested were not clearly answered. “We were told that instructions came from the Parliament, we were told that instructions came from superior officers within the Police Force, we were told that Ministerial directions were also given, so on every one of those, the arrest and detention would have been unlawful” he said.
He continued that “the Speaker has no authority outside of the four walls of the National Assembly, Bishop Edghill has not committed any civil or criminal wrong, he may have violated a standing order, the Parliament has the power and authority to deal with that internally, that does not extend to the violation of the domestic and municipal laws outside of the precincts of the Parliament, Bishop Edghill was arrested nearly 200 ft away from the gate of the Parliament.”
According to Nandlall “we have to sue every single person who we believe are implicated in this unlawful travesty and that includes suing them in their personal, as well as in their official capacity.”
He mentioned that such actions are necessary so as to prevent similar actions from reoccurring in the future. “We are not going to leave it this like this, another Parliamentarian or ten other Parliamentarians can be arrested on these spurious grounds and prevent us from doing what the people elected us to do. And that is why Parliamentarians are given immunity from suit.”
Before Edghill was released on his own recognizance, Nandlall noted that, Edghill was confronted with an allegation that he assaulted a peace officer outside of Parliament while he was being arrested.
Referring to the media, Nandlall said “now all of you were there and you would have seen and recorded what transpired, so we had to deal with that, because that never occurred that was simply a concoction put there to justify the unlawful arrest and detention of the Bishop. We refused to sign that and he was released on his own recognizance.”
Edghill was earlier on Tuesday suspended from four sittings of the National Assembly by Speaker Dr Barton Scotland after the Government side of the House voted in favour of the motion brought by their Chief Whip Amna Ally.
Opposition leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo during a press conference shortly after said that Opposition Parliamentarians will not stay away from scrutinizing the Budget Estimates, while highlighting that all of the distractions that are currently ongoing in Parliament are calculated and aimed at obfuscating Government’s spending of tax payers’ dollars.