Three members of the Police Service Commission yesterday distanced themselves from comments attributed to former chairman Nizam Mohammed and wished him well in the future.Mohammed's appointment was revoked by President George Maxwell Richards yesterday, less than ten months into his three-year contract, following his controversial statement to deal with the ethnic imbalance in the Police Service at a meeting in Parliament on March 25.The members - Martin George, Jacqueline Cheesman and Kenneth Parker - spoke at a news conference at the Marriott Hotel, Port-of-Spain.
Absent was commissioner Addison Khan.The three said that they were not part of any plot against Mohammed.They also said the matter of the ethnic imbalance in the Police Service was never discussed by the PSC.They said the first time the matter was raised was during the March 25 PSC meeting with the Joint Select Committee (JSC) in Parliament.George said none of the commissioners had been to the office since that meeting. He noted a letter sent by them to Mohammed had appeared in the press.
"Today we see skewed statistics and confidential information of the Police Service Commission, including distorted attendance records appearing mysteriously in the media, again, all designed to create a certain impression," George added. He said the release of PSC's confidential documents and information was "a source of tremendous concern to us all."He said the staff at the commission, including commissioners, continue to extend an olive branch to Mohammed.He said the PSC must treat all sectors and interest groups with dignity, respect and sensitivity. George said the commissioners wished Mohammed "only the very best in his future endeavours."
Chessman said the work of the commission would continue as a meeting was scheduled to take place on Thursday. She said there were many issues to be addressed within a specified deadline and the commission was eager to ensure that those matters were addressed.Parker said there was no division among members of the PSC.He added: "There might have been differences of opinion, which is normal and healthy within the commission as it stands. The fact that Mr Khan is not here is not a reflection of that."He said the presence of the three was "to reject an accusation that was made against the three."
George said the issue of ethnic imbalance in the police service must be addressed "but we must be guided by what is our remit and our constitutionally defined duty." He said: "That's where we were forced at the Joint Select Committee meeting to part ways with out former chairman."He said the issue of ethnic imbalance was raised as "a proposed agenda item" for a PSC meeting.George said he didn't attend that meeting but raised some critical issues in an e-mail sent to other commissioners who agreed "with my views on how the matter should be looked at, if at all."He said the work of the commission was "not being stymied" because of the ethnic imbalance controversy.