Embattled Returning Officer for Electoral District Four (Demerara – Mahaica), Clairmont Mingo was, on Friday, slapped with an additional charge of electoral fraud when he appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.
He was not required to plead to the indictable charge of conspiracy to commit fraud when it was read by Magistrate Faith McGusty.
He was jointly charged with PNC Chairwoman, Volda Lawrence.
Mingo was placed on his own self-bail and will make his next court appearance on November 16.
Meanwhile, Lawrence also made her second appearance in court to answer the charge of fraud. However, the prosecution asked the court for additional time to proceed with the case and it was granted.
She will also make her next court appearance on November 16.
The particulars of the charge state that Mingo, having been procured by Lawrence on or about March 5 at the Command Centre for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on High and Hadfield Streets, uttered to the Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield, the election results for Region Four, knowing it to be forged, with intent to defraud the people of Guyana.
The Guyana Elections Commission, despite being barred by an injunction, went ahead and published the Form 24s [which the election declaration] for all regions on its website. This included the Region Four unverified declaration. On the form, there is the signature of Mingo and that of Lawrence.
All of the Form 24s that were published by GECOM on its website had GECOM’s stamp with the RO’s signature. However, a close examination of Region Four’s form shows that Lawrence’s signature was affixed below that of the RO.
Lawrence was placed on $100,000 bail.
Mingo, during his first court appearance, was $600,000 bail on four charges of Misconduct in Public Office.
The first two charges against him allege that on March 5, 2020, at High and Hadfield Streets, Georgetown, while being a public officer, he willfully misconducted himself by declaring a result for District Four without ascertaining the total votes cast in favour of each list in the said District Four Regional and General Election. While the other two charges allege that he committed the same offences, this time round on March 13, 2020, at the same GECOM High and Cowan Streets, Kingston Head Office, when he willfully misconducted himself by declaring a result for District Four in the Regional Election of the said March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections.