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Former chairman Nizam Mohammed wants answers: Where was PSC in Gibbs, Ewatski resignations?
Former chairman of the Police Service Commission, Nizam Mohammed, is questioning the independence of the organisation, calling for answers on whether the commission played a part in the resignations of Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs and Deputy Police Commissioner Jack Ewatski.
On Monday, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced the resignations of the Canadians which takes effect on August 7. Mohammed, however, said it was clear there were ‘buy-out’ discussions taking place between the executive and Gibbs and Ewatski. “The intention of the police legislation package passed some years ago allows for us to provide an arm’s-length relationship between the police and the politician.
“It therefore does not seem as if decisions to quit were sudden and it would be interesting for the Police Service Commission to tell the population whether or not they had a role to play or whether this was something which happened between the executive and Mr Gibbs and Ewatski,” Mohammed added.
Expressing concern that the independence of the commission was at risk and the possibility that commission members were being deliberately sidelined, Mohammed said this was a matter which must also be urgently addressed by Government.
“It seems the commission has been sidelined in a very important matter that was in its domain. There seems to be a grey area when it comes to terms and conditions of employment and the executive level of the Police Service, in particular the role of the police commissioner and deputy police commissioner, and this is an area that needs to be clarified,” Mohammed added.
He said the commission must also clear the air on its precise roles and functions in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Describing the circumstances surrounding the resignations of Gibbs and Ewatski as confusing, Mohammed said, “This is also a confusing situation for the Police Service which it has found itself.
“I believe because of the hiatus in the appointment of a commissioner of police, this Government was a little too anxious in filling the post of a permanent employment. “But I have absolutely no doubt the Canadians would speak when they have their cheques in their hands.”
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