T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) has appealed the ruling of Justice Frank Seepersad who ordered them to appoint a five-member committee to investigate issues and concerns raised in a National Gas Company (NGC) financial audit.
The issue at hand was that some of the money from the sponsorship to the TTCB was used on projects not outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the parties.
In a decision delivered at the Hall of Justice, Port-of-Spain on January 27, Justice Seepersad ordered the TTCB to appoint the committee within 30 days. His order was made as former National League representative Dinanath Ramnarine was partially successful in his lawsuit against the TTCB.
In the lawsuit, he alleged there were material conflicts of interest in the voting process and accused the current executive of misrepresenting financial documents and information required for the public to determine how the TTCB spends public funds.
Justice Seepersad threw out the matter concerning the voting process citing that the court was mindful that the TTCB was vested with the authority to administer its affairs and manage its processes and had the power to develop and amend its constitution and regulatory processes as it sees fit, according to the provisions of its constitution.
However, Justice Seepersad did find favour with Ramnarine's appeal concerning the alleged misuse of funds by the national sporting body.
NGC signed an MOU with the TTCB for three years in December 2013 for $13.35 million. In 2016, the total sponsorship was reduced to $12.46 million. The audit showed that $25,000 was overpaid in 2014 and funds under-utilized were unilaterally reallocated by the TTCB. They amounted to $1,462,000 in 2014, $724,000 in 2015 and $797,000 in 2016.
Seepersad ruled that after the five-member committee, of which Ramnarine should be a member is formed, a report is to be generated within 120 days. After a further 30 days, copies must be presented to affiliates of the TTCB, Zones and the Minister of Sports.
He also indicated that the terms of reference for the committee be handled within 15 days by TTCB's attorney Navendra Ramnanan and Ramnarine.
This is where the problem arose according to TTCB president Azim Bassarath.
He told Guardian Media Sports on Friday that the board has decided to appeal the matter because its attorneys, as well as attorneys representing Ramnarine, could not agree to the terms of reference.
"Initially, I had stated that we were not going to appeal the matter but we were advised by our attorneys that we should appeal because they could not agree on the terms of reference with Ramnarine's attorney."
Bassarath added that the board was also awaiting Ramnarine's payment that was awarded by the judge.
"We are still awaiting our payment of 50 per cent of the costs as was awarded by the judge in this matter."
He went on to add that the board is also awaiting another payment due to them from Ramnarine.
"On December 18, 2018, Justice Jacqueline Wilson awarded costs to us in another matter involving Mr Ramnarine to the tune of $500,000 and we have not received a cent. So we are still awaiting all these payments as well."
When contacted Ramnarine said that seeing the matter is before the courts he would prefer to consult his attorneys before commenting.
He said, "At this point, I need to have a chat with my lawyers to find out what is the current situation and then from that point, I can make an informed statement. I prefer not to speak out of turn."