Former President, Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday said he would drop his presidential immunity and allow police to question him if President David Granger is grilled by investigators about the award of a multi-million dollar contract to a Dutch company to conduct a feasibility study on a new Demerara Harbour Bridge.
“If the President, when he is questioned in SOCU (Special Organised Crime Unit) chooses to give answers as to why he presided over Cabinet and approved a contract that was contrary to the law, I’ll go back to SOCU and I will not use that constitutional provision and you have that from me so I’m hoping he’ll do that now you have heard me say that,” Jagdeo told a news conference.
Earlier this week, Jagdeo refused to answer questions by SOCU’s investigators, citing constitutional immunity from answering any questions about acts done or decisions made while he was President and Chairman of Cabinet. SOCU wants to prosecute Jagdeo and his Cabinet members, several of whom had been sold housing lands at Pradoville 2, allegedly below market value.
Guyana Police Force officials have since confirmed that Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson has submitted a statement and documents about the award of a GY$148 million contract to LievenseCSO Engineering Contracting BV to conduct a feasibility study and design of a new Demerara Harbour Bridge.
Patterson has already stated that the unsolicited contract was awarded to the company after all of the 23 bidders through the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board had not met the requirements to do the work.
The law states that contracts must be awarded by that Board and not by the Cabinet. The complaint, with supporting documents, was submitted to SOCU in mid-August, 2018.
President David Granger has in the past reiterated that he intended to hold a Commission of Inquiry into the killing of hundreds of persons during Jagdeo’s presidency.