PM: OPM not involved in BPL probe

PM: OPM not involved in BPL probe
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis.

Unclear if investigation is underway

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said yesterday that he does not plan to be involved in the investigation into matters that unfolded between some former Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) board and Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister.

Minnis was asked whether the company engaged by the government to probe BPL had begun its investigation.

“I know that the company has been selected; as to whether they have commenced their work I won’t know because I won’t get into the day-to-day investigation or questioning that they are doing.

“But I know, from as far as the Office of the Prime Minister is concerned the selection process is completed.

When asked to name the company selected, Minnis said, “Allow the company to do their job.”

He was also asked how much the probe could cost taxpayers.

Minnis responded, “I don’t know.”

In April, the prime minister advised that the government had engaged a company to complete that investigation.

“We have signed the contract already; selected the company and they should commence their questioning and investigations very soon,” he said in response to questions from the media while on Inagua.

“I know everything has been signed.

“No, I am not giving you the name of the company — not yet.

“With time you’ll get that.

“That was signed just last week.”

Last August, after the former BPL board was disbanded, Minnis said the government will launch a “proper investigation”.

Three members of the former board — Darnell Osborne, the then executive chairman, Roy Nick Dean and Nicola Thompson — have taken legal action against the minister for damages for wrongful dismissal, alleged misfeasance and slander.

Attorney Alfred Sears, Q.C., represents them.

In their writs, each of the plaintiffs are seeking damages for wrongful dismissal; damages, inclusive of aggravated and exemplary damages for alleged misfeasance; interest; cost and any other relief as the court deems fit.

Bannister said last year that relationships within the board had broken down and the board locked horns on almost every issue, at great cost to the power provider.

But Osborne, Dean and Thompson retorted that “political interference” and a “continuous disrespect” toward the executive chairman were at the root of the former board’s dysfunction.