Roberts, a former COP D’Abadie/O’Meara MP, spoke at a United National Congress (UNC) political meeting in Diego Martin on Monday, hours after Justice Mira Dean-Armorer quashed the report of the Ministry of Finance’s central audit committee into the controversial Life Sport programme in the Port-of-Spain High Court.
Persad-Bissessar hinted that she may have Roberts appointed as an Opposition Senator. However, Mahabir believes this would not be a wise move by the UNC at this time.
Saying the court ruling in no wayy vindicates Roberts, Mahabir said, “One should have a clear name...
with nothing... if one wants to represent the public in government.” He continued, “There is talk around that they (UNC) may bring him back...to represent them. I suspect in the Senate.” Mahabir said if Persad-Bissessar and the UNC are in fact contemplating Roberts becoming an Opposition senator, “I suggest the UNC should wait till the new investigations are complete and see what comes out of them.” At a news conference on Tuesday, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said investigations into LifeSport are ongoing and Persad-Bissessar prematurely laid the findings of the audit committee in Parliament in July 2014, when she announced Life Sport’s termination.
Roberts resigned at the end of July 2014 as a minister and MP.
ILP: JACK WARNED THEM Meanwhile, political leader of the Independent Liberal Parry (ILP) Rekha Ramjit said that the party’s founder Jack Warner - a former UNC Government Minister - had once publicly warned that the LifeSport audit was not being properly conducted. Ramjit, an attorney, cited a news story headlined: “Warner: LifeSport audit a sham”, dated August 18, 2014. She said that long before the conclusion of the audit exercise, Warner had exposed the fact that persons who ought to be interviewed, were not.
“The ILP concurs with Mr Warner’s insinuation in 2014 that this appears to be no mere coincidence,” Ramjit said. She added that the court ruling on Monday does not exonerate anyone from allegations of wrongdoing. “It also does not negate or prevent the initiation or continuation of criminal investigations by the police into this matter.
It also does not preclude a fresh audit being conducted provided all the necessary procedures are adhered to.” Ramjit said the judgement makes no pronouncement on the facts and actual evidence of how $400 million of taxpayers’ money allocated to LifeSport was spent.
ANIL KNOCKS HOWAI Roberts himself said the quashing of the 2014 audit report was an indictment against his former Cabinet colleague, Larry Howai. Roberts made the claim during a radio interview yesterday. Asked whether the quashing of the report was an indictment against Howai since the central audit committee reported to him as the then Finance Minister, Roberts replied, “I would believe so, if he was in charge of the audit.” He also hinted this was also an indictment against the auditors and other persons at the finance ministry. Efforts to contact Howai yesterday for comment were unsuccessful