Coalition for Change (AFC) Secretary General and former Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson and former Demerara Bridge Bridge Corporation (DHBC) General Manager Rawlston Adams were released Monday on $ 200,000 bail each on a charge he allegedly plotted to defraud the company of $ 162,635,015.

AFC Secretary General and former Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson (in red shirt) joined the protest proceedings after he appeared in court

Instead, the men, who were due to be arrested before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan, were brought before Senior Magistrate Leron Daly after the Chief Magistrate denied herself from hearing the matter since she had reported ‘ the court that Patterson and Adams are known and do not. want any prejudice to be detected.
The men were not required to plead to the indictable charge and stated that they conspired with each other and with other unidentified persons to defraud the DHBC asphalt plant of $ 162,635,015 between November 18, 2016, and February 1, 2018, at Georgetown. for a project about a feasibility study and design for a new bridge that was not a function of that corporation and so money from the asphalt plant account could not be used.
Patterson, who serves as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, was represented by Attorneys-in-law Nigel Hughes, Ronald Burch-Smith, and Khemraj Ramjattan, while Adams was represented by Attorney-at-Law Glen Hanoman.
The Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) Prosecutor, Attorney-General Leslyn Noble asked that the men be released on substantial bail and submit their passports.

Former DHBC General Manager Rawlston Adams at Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts

However, this was strongly opposed by defense counsel who informed the court that their clients are not aviation risks. In doing so, the lawyers provided the court with a brief summary of their clients’ professional careers. In addition, they informed that, at the investigation stage, SOCU had been released on self-bail, and reported to the agency as necessary.
Magistrate Daly granted bail to the men and did not impose a condition that they issue their passports. They will appear in the next court on February 15, 2021, for the commencement of proceedings.

Meanwhile, as Patterson and Adams were arrested on the charges, several people led by Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon picketed out of court. With their placards, chants of “Patto delivery, [Juan] Edghill [Public Works Minister] was a failure, ”” Roundabout, Patto “and” PPP stop taxpayers’ money thieves through COVID relief “came from the crowd.
Speaking to the media, Harmon said that Patterson was being accused of an issue that had already been dealt with by retired Judge Claudette Singh when he was the Force’s legal adviser.
“This PPP action is essentially a wicked act and is supposed to create some problem with the leadership of the APNU / AFC… This Government is using Guyana Police; they have armed Guyana Police to take action against citizens when there is no real cause for action. ”
According to Harmon, “This act is dead and there is absolutely no reason why the Police should be bringing this action at this time against David Patterson. Patterson is a thorn in the eyes of the PPP, he is harassing them in the Public Accounts Committee… ”

Only from sources
Last week on Friday, Patterson and Adams were questioned by the SOCU. Patterson was cleared once in 2019 by researchers from SOCU when it comes to the single-source contract for the Dutch company LievenseCSO for the design and feasibility study of the new Demerara River bridge.
However, the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) and the Auditor General had drawn Patterson’s attention to ask the Cabinet at the time that the feasibility contract would come from individual sources instead of being processed through the National Procurement Board and Administering Tender (NPTAB).
The PPC had found that, after the bidding process was revoked due to non-tenderers, NPTAB had approved the project to be re-tendered. Back in November last year, Public Works Minister Juan Edghill had revealed that Guyana Police was currently investigating a 2016 $ 145 million contract award to LievenseCSO.
The Minister had said the investigation was following a formal complaint to law enforcement. The PPP / C Opposition at the time had asked the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) to investigate the award of the contract. The party had sought to hold the David Granger Administration accountable for only finding the contractor, rather than following the procurement laws.
When the PPP / C completed its investigation and passed its report on August 7, 2018, it noted that several companies had offered for the project to do the feasibility and design study for the new Demerara River bridge and that 12 companies had been shortlisted.
The report had added that only two of the 12 companies had made proposals. As such, the bidding process was revoked. He further noted that on November 12, 2016, the National Tender Procurement and Administration Board (NPTAB) had approved the retendering of the project.
However, the project was not re-tendered; instead, LievenseCSO was hired by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure to do the job. Page seven of the report stated that the request from LievenseCSO was “spontaneous”, but Patterson took the company’s proposal to Cabinet for approval, and gave his approval for the company to be hired.
The report, on page seven, also noted that money to spend on the project was taken from the asphalt plant accounts. Reports indicate that in 2017, $ 215.3 million was used from the fund, while in 2018 another $ 74 million was withdrawn.
The original amount approved by Cabinet for the contract was $ 161.5 million. It is understood that the contract price for a hand-selected LievenseCSO was in fact $ 148 million.

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