After being accused of misleading the public on the tardiness of the controversial Police Bill in the House of Assembly (HoA), Governor John J. Rankin, CMG, has admitted his group was responsible for the lateness.
Nevertheless, the Governor is hoping the Bill will return to the HoA after the General Election.
Governor misled public
During a press conference called by Governor Rankin on February 14, 2023, he was asked why he was now trying to rush the Bill through the HoA weeks before an expected general election.
“As regards the timing of when the Police Act was introduced into the House of Assembly, that with respect is a matter for the Government and the House of Assembly. I would have wished it to be done earlier but I hope, nonetheless, that the act could be given appropriate consideration,” Mr Rankin
Appearing on the International Morning Braff Show on Tola Radio VI on February 20, 2023, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) “unequivocally I can say to you, the reason the Police Bill came so late [to the House] is because of the process of making those amendments between the Governor and Deputy Governor, Attorney General’s Chambers and Police.
“I just bring the Bill on behalf of them and when they got it to Cabinet finally, we were able to bring it in one day to the House of Assembly,” Premier Wheatley had stated.
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the
Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), right, spared little words in
letting the public know that Governor John J. Rankin, CMG, left, was
being bluntly untruthful when he laid the blame on the Unity Government
and the House of Assembly for the controversial Bill entitled Police Act
2023 only now reaching the HoA.
Governor was caught in a lie?
Governor Rankin, during a press conference on March 3, 2023, admitted that the blame was actually not the government’s fault.
“It is correct that the Act came late to the House of Assembly for consideration, with dissolution that is due to take place by 12 March i.e. the end of next week.
“I agree with the Premier that ideally the Act should have been presented to the House of Assembly sooner,” Governor Rankin admitted.
Governor wants Bill returned to HoA soonest
The Police Bill in its current form raises serious concerns about police being given opportunities to abuse their powers and strip the people of their human rights.
Due to these concerns, the Bill was withdrawn from the HoA.
“I understand that the Police Act as tabled in the House of Assembly has now been withdrawn but I very much hope the House will return to it after the General Election,” the Governor stated, adding that it is essential that the Police are given the modern tools necessary to tackle crime.