Subhas Ramkhelawan resignation from his positions as Independent Senator and chairman of the T&T Stock Exchange came as no surprise to Peter Permell, minority shareholder rights advocate. “I think the T&T Stock Exchange (TTSE), the Parliament and the country can now breathe a collective sigh of relief that Mr Subhas Ramkhelawan has finally found it in him to do the honourable thing by resigning his position, not only as chairman of the TTSE, but also as an Independent senator,” Permell said in a statement yesterday.
His comment came hours after Ramkhelawan announced he was resigning from both posts after weeks of debate over whether he should do so despite his claim no laws were breached when his company handled the deal in which former First Citizens Bank (FCB) chief risk officer Phillip Rahaman purchased $14.5 million in shares during its IPO last year. Rahaman was subsequently dismissed by the bank. Permell said the evidence was “compelling.”
He added: “This comes as no surprise to me, as someone who has been following this issue from the beginning. In fact, based on the cogent and compelling evidence unearthed by yours truly, the media and others thus far, it was an inescapable outcome.” Permell also said he believed yesterday’s events were just the start of things to come. He added: “However, unfortunately for the erstwhile Independent senator this is not the end but just the beginning of his troubles, particularly when one takes a cursory glance at the facts and the law in this matter. I say no more on that score.
“This is not a time for celebration or rejoicing as, for me, it is a very sad day for the republic of T&T and more particularly our fledgling stock market, given the circumstances surrounding Mr Ramkhelawan’s resignation and the fact that it has been long in coming. “It is also a sad day for honesty, integrity, probity, commonsense and good judgment and more importantly the reminder that the old adage ‘greed is good’ is very much alive and well in the corporate boardrooms in T&T.” Permell said the rest was now in the hands of the law. “This, notwithstanding, I wish to commend the media for their steadfastness and persistence in keeping this matter on the national front-burner and encourage you to continue to keep up the good work. “Finally, as you are aware the entire First Citizens Bank IPO affair is now in the hands of the AG so I believe I have said enough for now,” he added.