Political leader of the Tobago Council of the People’s National Movement (PNM), Ancil Dennis, has provided what he called evidence that the company which received the contract to construct a zipline in Tobago exists.
The rebuttal was in response to a claim by Chief Secretary Farley Augustine last Friday that when checks were made, the company was not found to be a legitimate entity in the British Virgin Islands and therefore does not exist.
However, at a brief news conference on Wednesday evening, Dennis accused Augustine of “lying” to the people of this country.
He read from a document that he later made available to the media and posted to his Facebook page.
“I received credible information concerning the existence of this company and I have in my possession here and I am going to read the document. It says territory of the British Virgin Islands BVI Business Companies Act 2004 certificate of good standing and the name of the company is Oct Enterprises Limited and its BVI company number is 430213 and the company is not only in existence, but by virtue of the information in this document, the company is in good standing,” he said.
Dennis said the document has already been sent to the relevant people involved in the zipline matter.
“It is my expectation that this matter will be continued to be pursued in the court of law so that the people of Tobago will firstly be furnished with the truth and all the relevant information concerning this zipline and what transpired with that project and secondly, that if the possibility exists that we will be able to recoup every bit of expenditure that was utilised in this project,” he added.
In November 2021, a Dennis-led THA initiated civil proceedings against the zipline company, after it failed to complete the project having been paid $2.5m.
Contacted to provide clarity on the matter yesterday, lawyer for the THA John Jeremie, SC, said he was unwilling to confirm or discuss with a third party the information his client (through the Chief Secretary) put in the public domain.
At the news conference last week, Augustine told the media to contact Jeremie for further information, as he was unable to say more than he had already done.
In a letter to the THA’s Chief Administrator in 2020, the Auditor General said $2,511,210.20 was paid for materials and equipment; however, the existence of these assets was not verified and a visit to the Stores section of the Division of Tourism and Transportation revealed only some ropes on hand.