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Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Moonilal seeks answers from Oudit on Cordner
UNC deputy leader Roodal Moonilal has called on ILP deputy leader Lyndira Oudit to say what former Flying Squad member Mervyn Cordner was doing at her house and whether her property was to have been used as headquarters for the controversial New Flying Squad. Speaking at PP’s San Juan local government elections campaign meeting on Wednesday night, Moonilal also raised concern about a national security post which Oudit was reported to have been shortlisted for and her job at another institution. Controversy and questions surround the so-called New Flying Squad ,which Cordner said was formed by the National Security Ministry, then under now ILP leader Jack Warner, who later distanced himself from the idea.
The Prime Minister and Government also distanced themselves from it and the issue was being investigated by the police. Last August police said the probe was to have been completed in a few weeks. Yesterday there was no comment from them on the outcome. On Wednesday, however, Moonilal, calling on Oudit to say what Cordner was doing at her house, asked: “What was he doing by her? She needs to answer whether her house was to be the headquarters for the new Flying Squad.” Citing a T&T Guardian March 2013 article, Moonilal also said Oudit was reported to have been among those in line for a job of director of counter-trafficking in the National Security Ministry, for which she didn’t apply. He noted Oudit had said she had not applied for the job but if offered would consider it. Moonilal added, “How could she have been shortlisted when she didn’t apply for it... and ILP talking about corruption.”
He also questioned how Oudit, a former schoolteacher with an undergraduate degree, got a $24,000 job as director of business development at the College of Science and Technology when there were several more qualified candidates, including an IDB official. Moonilal said the situation was very suspicious and would be investigated. He said Oudit didn’t have the experience and expertise to get the job. He also called on ILP’s Lange Park candidate Ramesh Ramdan to say if he was the same Ramesh Ramdan who allegedly violated customs laws in 2005-2006 for illegally importing rum and was later charged thousands of dollars. Moonilal said if it was not the same person he would apologise to Ramdan, but he wanted Ramdan to explain.
He also reeled off a long list of criminal offences which he claimed involved ILP candidates and said to date he has not been notified of legal action on the information. If the claims were untrue, he said, some action would have been forthcoming by now,.He said ILP deputy leader Anna Deonarine must explain her allegedly stolen Range Rover and how she came to possess it. “We cannot have an election without a reasonable explanation from her on this,” he added, noting other issues dogging Deonarine. PP Senator Em-manuel George, outlining Government’s paving and water projects in west Trinidad, pointed out the PNM had discriminated against its own constituencies there.
Oudit, Ramdan respond
Yesterday both ILP’s Lyndira Oudit and Ramesh Ramdan said Moonilal was “delusional and desperate.” Commenting on Moonilal’s statement Oudit said she did not know Mervyn Cordner personally. However, she said last September to October, on her way home she had met a gentleman in a car at the entrance to her street in South Oropouche. She said she stopped and asked him to move and he identified himself as Cordner and said he was looking for properties to rent. Oudit told the T&T Guardian she had no property to rent and there was no discussion with Cordner about her house. “That was the extent of it,” she said. “I had my call cards in the car at the time, when I was Senate Vice- President, and he noticed it and said, ‘You are the lady from the Parliament,’ and I said, ‘Yes.’ “Then he said he would move the car and that was it. That was the only talk I had.” Oudit also defended the National Security job issue and former post as director of business development, saying she had extensive public-and private-sector experience in Canada, as well as T&T, and also three weeks in Tampa, USA and was well qualified for both jobs. “I cut no deals. There’s nothing they (PP) can hold on me and I have no baggage and they can’t fight that,” Oudit added. Contacted yesterday on Moonilal’s claims, Ramdan said he was never fined and had nothing on record and had been working at Customs and Excise at the time Moonilal spoke of. He said the Customs records could be checked and there was nothing illegal about importing alcohol into T&T.
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