Ex-Agri Society president objects to AGM

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

In this file photo, Agricultural Society of TT president Daryl Rampersad and member Suren Ramkissoon gather seedlings for distribution last November. – Photo courtesy Agricultural Society

Former president of the Agricultural Society of TT (ASTT) Dhano Sookoo says she told the current president Daryl Rampersad and the board that holding an annual general meeting contravened the by-laws of the society.

The society’s 184th Annual General Meeting was recently announced and was supposed to be held on Saturday at the Bon Air West Community Centre, Arouca.

She said, as outlined in the ASTT Act and the by-laws, there was a statute of limitation restricting the terms of office for the president and the rest of the board.

For Rampersad and his team, their term came to an end on January 30, 2022, she said.

She therefore questioned under what authority they were functioning as the board.

She said members of the board have asked for her guidance and she brought the matter to their attention, advising them that utilising the ASTT’s resources and acting as the board was wrong and they needed to address the situation.

The society’s annual executive election was postponed when, in January 2022, an injunction was filed to stop the election which as also due that month.

Justice Avason Quinlan-Williams granted the injunction, which was filed because of alleged irregularities in the election.

Sookoo said she went to the meeting on Saturday, which she stressed was not an annual general meeting because the mechanism to prepare the society for such a meeting did not exist, where she reiterated the issue saying the meeting was illegal, “null and void” and then promptly left.

“They are misleading the membership and telling them that the judge told them they cannot have an election in 2023, and the judge instructed Daryl to continue to be president.

“Since last year I questioned the secretary asking them where is the authority for them to carry on. I asked them where is the written directive to carry on, she never answered. This morning, I told them they must have that written authority from the judge when the statute of limitation for them ended in 2022.”

She said the board members called their attorneys for the directive but did not produce it at the meeting.

The last AGM was in January 2021 when Sookoo was voted out of office after over a decade as president.

Newsday could not confirm the outcome of the meeting as Rampersad did not answer phone calls or reply to messages.