“Contradictory” evidence regarding the serving of court documents to David Granger – the Leader of the APNU and Second-named Respondent in an election petition – is enough to have the application thrown out, without alleging fraud. This was according to Douglas Mendes, counsel for Bharrat Jagdeo, the fourth-named respondent in the matter.
The Chief Justice (CJ), Roxane George-Wiltshire has already flagged the contradictory evidence in a Supplementary Affidavit made by one of the petitioners, Brennan Nurse.
“[The] Supplementary Affidavits in themselves contradictory, because they allege that the petition documents were served in September 18, but then, they said they went to the second respondent (David Granger) on September 24, and the acknowledgment of service, apparently signed by the second respondent is dated September 25,” the CJ told Coalition lawyer, John Jeremie this morning during a hearing of a case management conference.
Jeremie said that paragraph seven of the affidavit notes that when Nurse was preparing the Affidavit of Service, she realized that she did not have a signed acknowledgement from Granger.
Nurse, according to Jeremie said, “I served David Granger on the 24th. As I was preparing my Affidavit of Service, I realized that I did not have a signed Affidavit of Acknowledgment, I went back to Granger and requested him to sign the acknowledgment.”
Asked how the court should deal with the declaration about the 25th, Jeremie responded: “It was an error”.
Asked who made the error, the attorney diverted the CJ’s attention to paragraph nine of the affidavit, in which Nurse purportedly wrote (according to Jeremie): “Upon returning to David Granger, the second-named respondent, I saw him sign and date the acknowledgement. I then took that acknowledgment to the Commissioner of Oaths, and exhibited to my Affidavit, but unfortunately, did not pay attention to the date placed on the acknowledgment by the second-named respondent…Having done so, I would have recognized that Mr. Granger had incorrectly dated the Acknowledgement of Service. I witnessed him sign it on the 24th of September, and not the 25th.
The CJ said that the whole thing seems “a bit strange”. Jeremie agreed, before asking the court to overlook the discrepancies in the date. Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, who had initially filed an application seeking the petition thrown out, rubbished Jeremie’s bid to “explain away the inconsistencies”.
He stated that no explanation was given why Granger was named a respondent in the first place, and why his lawyers are seeking to have him removed from the case.
“There is no explanation from the petitioners as to why they have decided to name Mr. Granger a Respondent. Now, an objection is made, they simply say that Mr. Granger has been wrongly named – putting the onus, apparently on the other side to find an explanation as to why Mr. Granger’s presence is there as a respondent. We did not do that,” he told the CJ.