PLP leader insists PM must act now
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Opposition Leader Philip Brave Davis yesterday renewed his call for Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands and Minister of National Security Marvin Dames to resign.
Davis said while Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis promised to address the matter while in Grand Bahama last Friday, he failed to do so and instead made light of a serious issue.
Davis said Minnis’ rally trash talking was an insult to him, and the thousands of people suffering in Grand Bahama where unemployment continues to be a challenge.
“He sought to deflect from his failures by making me and the PLP the centrepiece of his speech,” the PLP leader said.
“This is regrettable, a huge letdown and a convoluted and shameless confession of failure in leadership.”
While in Grand Bahama last Thursday, Minnis called the PLP’s calls for Sands’ and Dames’ resignations as nonsense.
He labelled the opposition as objectionists, which is supposed to “oppose everything with sense” and said he would “display that some things they say do not have sense”.
“So, for those who listen to us on Friday, they would hear,” the prime minister said.
Davis said, “I have called for them [Sands and Dames] to resign or be dismissed. The prime minister did not do as he promised. He spoke not one word about Dr. Sands and Mr. Dames. Instead, he sought to make jokes and turn it into a circus with [untruths] about my conduct in office.
“This is no joking matter.
“The prime minister has not seen a smile on my face.
“His ministers, Sands and Dames, stand judicially condemned for their conduct in the case: Commissioner of Police versus Frank Smith.
“While the matter is being appealed, the appeal will not change the findings of fact in the decision down below.
“The administration of justice stands condemned by these findings.
“The attorney general too must consider his tenure in the position.”
He added, “This is about your FNM ministers bringing the country and its justice system into disrepute.”
Davis called for the resignations or firing of the ministers following the acquittal of Smith, citing the judge’s ruling in which she called in the question the ministers conduct in the matter.
Smith was charged in 2017 with abusing his position as chairman of the Public Hospitals Authority after the award of a $516,000 contract to the virtual complainant, Barbara Hanna, the owner of Magic Touch Cleaning, to clean the critical care unit of Princess Margaret Hospital.
The judge said there was not a scintilla on evidence that there was a meeting between Smith and Hanna prior to the awareness of the contract.
It was revealed during the course of the trial that Sands awarded a second contract of $1.8 million to Hanna, three months after Smith was charged.
The magistrate said the circumstances of the contract raised a “spectre of impropriety”.
It was also revealed that Dames met with Hanna before she made an official complaint to police.
Of that meeting, Ferguson-Pratt said it was “unorthodox, to say the least”.
Centreville MP Reece Chipman and Golden Isles MP Vaughn Miller have called for fair treatment on the matter.
Meanwhile, the PLP has accused the government of abusing its power and boycotted Parliament.
It remains unclear when the opposition plans to return to the House of Assembly or Senate.