THA Minority Leader: Chief Sec caused own demise

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Kelvon Morris –

Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Minority Leader Kelvon Morris says Chief Secretary Farley Augustine is the cause of his “own demise” after Augustine, on Wednesday, claimed the PNM was behind police raids conducted at the homes of past and present THA officials over the weekend. Augustine’s own home was raided on Tuesday.

The raids were conducted as part of a police probe into a controversial audio clip in which people, believed to be high-ranking government officials, can be heard planning to use THA resources to fund a political propaganda campaign. The clip was first shared on social media in May.

Speaking at at a special THA sitting in the Assembly Legislature, Scarborough, Augustine accused the Prime Minister, PNM Tobago Council Leader Ancil Dennis, Commissioner of Police Erla Harewood-Christopher and others of being part of a plot to destabilise the THA.

Augustine called for an independent inquiry into the raids, claiming “This matter now implicates several high-ranking officials.”

He alleged the search warrants used in the raids were obtained through “bribery, improper political influence, corruption, police misbehaviour and other forms of police misconduct.”

Responding to Augustine’s allegations after Wednesday’s sitting, Morris said, “If you listen to the chief secretary, you would believe that those conversations are conversations that were created by the PNM.

“Those are not fabricated conversations,” he added. “Those are real conversations that happened between public officials treating with public funds.

“This is what the matter is. So trying to link this matter to audit and all that, those are separate discussions.

“I have always said: if there are issues where persons would have conducted themselves in a profound way in any administration, let the chips fall where they may. Plain and simple.”

He said the audio recording required an investigation to its fullest end. He said Tobagonians should not be distracted by the fact that there is an audio with recorded conversations that has criminal conduct and consequences.

“You are saying all these independent offices are somehow in cahoots with the politicians to take down your administration when you are the cause of your own demise because it is your conversation, it is you and your secretary and whoever else were involved in this conversation that was planned.”

Also on Wednesday, MP for Tobago West Shamfa Cudjoe took to Facebook to respond to Augustine’s claims, saying: “If your allegations were true, you won’t need the protection of the House.

“Stop use the Tobago House of Assembly to promote political gimmickry, push propaganda, spread lies, and implicate people. Bunch of Cowards! Take your “evidence” to the police and stop waste taxpayers time and money.”

She said Augustine is “hell-bent on insulting the intelligence of Tobagonians and making yourselves look like fools. A gang of jokers, imposters, mocking pretenders and punks.”

She added: “Called an Emergency Sitting of the House to share He Say, She Say from a former member of your PDP executive.

“So you sit down, plot your evil, engage in criminal activity, get recorded by your own executive member of the PDP, then when police come to your door, throw a pity party.”