Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo is of the firm view that the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) displays nothing but “a blatant bias” when it comes to investigating cases of official corruption.
The former Head of State expressed these and similar sentiments at his press briefing yesterday which was held at his Church Street Office.
Jagdeo said that SOCU has always been swift in its efforts to probe the controversial Pradoville Two case and to “embarrass our members by having them walk up those steps and the media taking our pictures.”
He noted however that it has been over two and a half months since the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) called on SOCU to investigate the circumstances involving Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson and his “illegal” award of the contract for the feasibility study on the new Demerara Rover Bridge Crossing to a Dutch firm.
The Opposition Leader said, “Just imagine, a constitutional body being the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) issued a report on this case and the Commissioners said that Patterson acted illegally. The Commissioner said that the award of the contract breached the nation’s procurement laws. The report is with SOCU. Why haven’t they acted on it yet? Why a single member of Cabinet was not called in for questioning?”
Jagdeo added, “It goes to show the influence this government has over SOCU. The office cannot be independent. And so what you are seeing is a one-sided approach in the coalition’s fight against corruption…”
The former Head of State said that the PPP would not be discouraged where this is concerned. He assured that the Opposition would be relentless in exposing instances of abuse by the government. In the coming weeks, Jagdeo said he would be using the Auditor General’s 2017 report to expose the actions of the government. He said that some of the AG’s findings will be taken to the police for further action to be taken.