Minister of Education Nicolette Henry is suing Rickford Burke, President of the Caribbean Guyana Institute of Democracy, for in excess of GYD$20M over a Facebook post he made that she has deemed libellous.
The Guyana Standard has been able to confirm that the lawsuit was filed by the minister’s lawyer Darren Wade. A court order was granted to have the legal documents served on Burke, who is in New York.
Apart from seeking millions in damages, Minister Henry is asking the court to grant an order compelling Burke to issue an apology.
The Guyana Standard understands that the lawsuit stemmed over a June 28, 2019 post, among others, Burke made about the minister on his Facebook page. In the post, Burke shared views on Henry’s performance in the execution of her ministerial portfolio.
As it is, the lawsuit has been filed at the High Court in Demerara and now awaits a fixture date for hearing before a Judge.
Burke has since taken to his Facebook page where he informs that he is not intimidated by a lawsuit. Among other things, he said that freedom of speech is a right enshrined under Guyana’s Constitution.
“It is always a dangerous proposition when politicians and governments attempt to undermine democracy,” Burke added in the social media post.
Further, Burke states in the post that he lives in the USA where the right to freedom of speech is guaranteed under the Constitution, and where it is also an essential feature of an open, democratic society.