Top Cop Seelall Persaud sent back home … in the public interest
Nov 25, 2017 , https://www.kaieteurnewsonline...the-public-interest/
Amid calls for a shakeup in the top brass of Guyana Police Force, Commissioner of Police, Seelall Persaud, was sent on special leave until further notice with effect from yesterday.
Persaud had been on accumulated leave since July 10th and should have resumed official duties yesterday. He was then to proceed on pre-retirement leave next year with retirement by April 2018.
Before he could resume duty, Persaud was notified of the special leave via a letter dated November 23rd from Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan.
The letter, seen by Kaieteur News, indicated that the Minister was advised to inform Persaud of the decision which was made in the public interest. The letter also stated that the decision is to allow for continuing initiatives and innovations being pursued by the force’s temporary administration to be completed before Persaud’s resumption of duty.
Ramjattan indicated to Persaud “it is the considered opinion of the administration that you should be and directed to proceed on special leave with effect from November 24th, 2017 until further notice”.
Since Persaud’s leave started, Assistant Commissioner of Police David Ramnarine has been performing the duties of Commissioner. Sources have confirmed that this is likely the end of Persaud’s tenure, and that the coalition government will move to have a new commissioner installed shortly.
COI RECOMMENDED REMOVAL
Leading up to the letter, Persaud, Guyana’s 31st Commissioner of Police faced a scathing report from the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the alleged assassination plot against President David Granger. The CoI, headed by retired Assistant Commissioner of Police Paul Slowe, recommended that Persaud should be made to resign his position as Commissioner under such terms and conditions that the President considers appropriate.
Failing which, the Commission had recommended that proceedings be initiated in accordance with Article 225 on the Constitution to have him removed from office for misbehaviour.
Persaud was accused of inserting himself into the police investigation of the assassination plot while he was on leave.
The report found that the top cop should have recused himself from the matter. Persaud was accused of bypassing the chain of command when he instructed that Nizam Khan, who was a suspect in the alleged assassination plot, be sent on bail.
RIFT IN TOP BRASS
Persaud faced turbulent times at the head of the force which was highlighted by a public rift with Ramnarine. The rift had reached the level of Cabinet and was pointed out in the CoI report.
The Commission found that the ‘hostile’ relationship that existed between Persaud and Ramnarine led to divisions among the officer corps of the force.
Aside from Persaud and Ramnarine, the report identified Assistant Commissioner Clifton Hicken and Senior Superintendent Wendell Blanhum as “the main protagonists,” who “lack the professionalism to lead the Force in this touted period of reform and transition.”
The report described the rift as a most unwelcome development, while concluding that everything must be done to stamp it out.
The Commission had recommended that serious consideration must be given to having all the main protagonists reassigned, even if it means placement outside the force.
It was the view of the Commission that the process to heal the cancerous schism that has been identified in the senior ranks of the force commence as soon as possible. The Commission noted that any delay will cause the situation to continue or even become worse.
The Commission expressed the firm view that the recommendations contained in the report will go a long way towards repairing the damaged relationship which exists in the officer corps of the GPF, and will also assist in restoring public confidence in the ability of the GPF to deliver its mandate to serve and protect the citizens of Guyana.
Any differences will be addressed by the Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, according to Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.
Late last year, Ramnarine was appointed to act as Police Commissioner for a 100-day period while Persaud was on annual leave. Ramnarine, with advice and the support of the force’s top management, promoted several ranks. Upon his return, Persaud instructed that all of the promotions approved by Ramnarine be rescinded.
Persaud, who hails from the Essequibo Coast, took the oath of office on March 10th, 2015. He served the force for over 30 years and has served in many top positions of the force including, the Police Anti-Narcotics Unit and Crime Chief.