Patterson’s name mistakenly left on ‘no-fly’ list- Police Commissioner

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 September 2023, 10:45 by Denis Chabrol

Acting Commissioner of Police Clifton Hicken.

Police Commissioner Clifton Hicken said opposition parliamentarian David Patterson’s name mistakenly remained on the Immigration Department’s ‘no-fly’ list, causing the politician to miss a flight to the United States.

Mr Patterson was expected to be part of an opposition A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance For Change delegation to attend a conference with other opposition lawmakers on the political and economic conditions in Guyana.

Mr Hicken, who is also the Chief Immigration Officer,  said Mr Patterson’s name has since been removed from the immigration’s list.

The Police Commissioner was Wednesday expected t0 provide more details about the occurrence, but multiple sources sought to assure that the lawmaker’s name was not flagged as prohibited from departing Guyana in recent days. The sources said that was done in July 2023 while Mr Patterson was being investigated for alleged indecent exposure.

Though the Magistrates’ Court did not issue an order blocking him from leaving Guyana, according to the sources, his name was not removed.

His Attorney-at-Law, Nigel Hughes, on Wednesday said legal proceedings would be filed.

Mr David Patterson

Mr Patterson earlier Wednesday told Demerara Waves that 30 minutes after clearing customs and immigration, an immigration officer approached and informed him that he could not leave Guyana because there was a “note in the system”.  He said no details were provided and although Mr Hughes reminded them that High Court decisions in the past outlaw the immigration department from leaving Guyana unless there is a court order, they refused to budge.

Mr Patterson was expected to be part of an opposition APNU+AFC delegation that is headed by Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton and also includes PNCR General Secretary Ms. Dawn Hastings; Shadow Local Government Minister and PNCR Executive Committee Member, Mr. Ganesh Mahipaul; Shadow Attorney General and PNCR Executive Committee Member, Mr. Roysdale Forde; Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs and PNCR Executive Committee Member, Amanza Walton-Desir; PNCR member Ms. Nima Flue Bess; AFC Chairman, Catherine Hughes; AFC member Deonarine Ramsaroop, and Leader of the Guyana Action Party, Vincent Henry.

They are due to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus, including Democratic Minority Leader, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries on Wednesday. “The meeting with Mr Jeffries and his team is expected to focus on the opportunities and challenges confronting Guyana and on how political stakeholders in the country can work together to ensure that all Guyanese citizens, regardless of race or ethnicity, benefit from the country’s oil wealth,” APNU+AFC said.

President Irfaan Ali and a team earlier this month travelled to the US where they briefed the Congressional Black Caucus, including Mr Jeffries and other American decision makers, about the governance of Guyana and other issues.