United National Congress MP Saddam Hosein has called on Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to clear the air on “Inezgate” and allegations that Rowley didn’t declare to the Integrity Commission the purchase of a Tobago property in 2019.
Hosein spoke about the issue at last night’s UNC Virtual Forum. He detailed the contents of “files” which UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has said in recent weeks the UNC had on Rowley and Tobago businessman Allan Warner.
Hosein said under the law, any member of the public can access Integrity Commission records.
He said as of last week, checks were done by the UNC at the commission and it was revealed that the Prime Minister had failed to declare he bought property from Inez Investments since February 2019.
“This is in violation of the law,” Hosein said.
Hosein said Inez Investments owned a development on Shirvan Road, Tobago, which he claimed involved 46 townhouses. He cited beneficial owners listed at March 2021 as Marion Dillon-Foderingham, Keon and Kalana Warner and Kai Townsend. He said some are business associates in another company with Allan Warner.
Hosein claimed people who bought townhouses in the complex included the husband of the House Speaker Newman George and other high-profile citizens.
“And the development has many prominent PNMites purchasing townhouses,” he claimed.
He said several people bought at prices between $1.6 million and $1.8 million.
Hosein alleged that from the deeds in the UNCs’ possession, Rowley got a discount on the property purchase of February 21, 2019.
On the Integrity declaration aspect, Hosein noted that when former UNC leader and former Prime Minister Basdeo Panday was charged for failing to declare his London bank account Section 27 of the Integrity in Public Life Act stated that where a personal benefit exceeds $5,000 in value, the person in public life—like the Prime Minister—shall file his declaration indicating the nature of the gift, source and circumstances under which it was given or accepted.
He claimed that UNC checks found that some of the other persons who purchased townhouses had all declared their purchases to the Integrity Commission. But he questioned why Rowley was allegedly “hiding the purchase,” noting he may have “broken the law.”
“This is a matter that warrants urgent action by the Integrity Commission, as we’re seeing breaches of several sections of the Integrity in Public Life Act. We call on the Prime Minister to please answer these questions and clear the air on this Inezgate investment and scandal,” Hosein said.
Hosein said after the “loss the Prime Minister has coming in Tobago next Monday (THA polls), he has another one coming (with Debe by-election).”