‘Nothing special about Jones’ – Nandlall says he should sue if he feels a wrong was done to him

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APNU/AFC’s Christopher Jones

A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) member Christopher Jones should take legal action against the State if he feels “a wrong” was done to him on Thursday during the removal of several items belonging to the State from his Tucville house while at the same time defending the actions of members of the Guyana Police Force.

This is according to Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall who was adamant that the Police acted properly in their attempts to recover State assets.

“If a wrong has been done to Mr Jones, let him, Mr Jones, sue the Attorney General. But the police acted in the way to verify the custody of the assets that prima facie belongs to the State and they went about and do that,” the AG noted.

According to Nandlall, there is nothing “special” about Jones as he reminisced that he, President Dr Irfaan Ali, Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo and Dr Roger Luncheon were all arrested in 2017 and taken to Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) to be questioned in relation to misappropriate of State assets.

In fact, the AG pointed out that Jones was very confrontational and was allegedly abusive towards Police ranks.

“There is nothing special about Christopher Jones. The police, as I understand, went there at about 5 pm to verify that he had the items that were discovered in the audit, and he abused the police, he even loose his dogs on them,” he stated.

Attorney General Anil Nandlall

To this end, Nandlall stated that the former Director should have been cooperative and gone down to the Police Headquarters to verify the items instead of being confrontational.

On Thursday last, Police visited Jones’ Lot 609 Conciliation Street, Tucville, Georgetown home to conduct a search for State assets.

Police, in a release, had stated that a report was made against Jones, alleging that he was in possession of State assets valuing over $4 million. Upon receiving the report, the ranks of the GPF proceeded to investigate by going to the residence of Jones, where he was contacted and told of the purpose of their visit.

According to Police, upon arrival at the residence, the ranks observed items at the home fitting the description of the items reported to be State assets. The police further stated that contact was made with Jones, who was told of the allegation but refused the lawmen permission to search his property, claiming that they were not in possession of a search warrant.

By then, several officials, including Executives of both the Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR) and the Alliance for Change (AFC), turned up at the property as Police stood guard. The ranks nevertheless conducted their operation and removed the items.

On Friday last, after being released on $100,000 station bail, Jones claimed that he had applied for assistance under the SLED programme under the then Social Protection Ministry, and the application was approved. However, questions are being raised regarding the process that was used to determine that Jones, a senior Government official at the time, was qualified for such assistance.

There has been widespread criticism over the fact that Jones, as Director of Sport, benefited from the programme which is intended to help vulnerable persons and registered groups and associations needing the economic boost to improve their economic enterprises.

Meanwhile, the audit report stated that a physical inspection of the assets purchased revealed that items valuing $4.084 million were still not put into use, since these items were stored in a room at the residence of the beneficiary, Christopher Jones.

Further, the audit report stated that details of a letter from the Permanent Secretary of the Social Protection Ministry, dated May 22, 2019, states that the items were to be procured for the beneficiary who “operates” a barbershop.

However, at the time of the physical verification, it was discovered that the beneficiary does not operate a barbershop, since the construction of the said barbershop has not yet commenced.