Hosein wants Integrity Commission to investigate the PM again

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Hosein wants Integrity Commission to investigate the PM again

Barataria/San Juan MP Saddam Hosein wants the Integrity Commission to launch yet another investigtion into Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s alleged friendship and business dealings with Tobago businessman Allan Warner.

Speaking at a United National Congress (UNC) weekly press briefing yesterday, Hosein said his request was based on reports of alleged conversations between Rowley and former national security minister and current Energy and Energy Industries Minister Stuart Young and former police commissioner Gary Griffith, in which inquiries were made over Warner’s firearm user’s licence (FUL) application and an application for a blasting licence for quarrying activity.

The reports were published as Warner was charged with mining without a licence and was granted $100,000 bail last week. 

Both Dr Rowley and Young have not denied the leaked text message exchanges but have pointed out that they never asked Griffith to fast-track the applications or improperly approve them as they were merely seeking a status update. 

This is not Hosein’s first request to the Integrity Commission to investigate Rowley.

In 2021, he complained about Rowley’s alleged failing to declare a townhouse in Tobago he and his wife purchased in a community developed by Warner’s company.

The commission stated that it had deliberated upon Hosein’s complaint and was satisfied that there was no merit in an allegation contained in the complaint against the PM. The commission eventually closed its investigation.

Hosein said that the commission should reopen its investigation based on the latest information, as the property was purchased during the period when the application inquiries were allegedly made.

“I am calling on the Integrity Commission today, on behalf of the citizens of T&T, that they ought to investigate this matter in light of these circumstances that have come into the public domain,” Hosein said. 

“Let them determine what the facts of the matter are,” he said. 

Hosein questioned whether Rowley had followed up on FUL applications for any other citizen. “Has the Prime Minister now reduced the Office of the Prime Minister to the role of a caddy boy?” he asked.

Hosein said, “How many other persons were denied or applications were languishing and they have to go to court?”

In an interview in the Sunday Express, Warner denied requesting Rowley and Young’s assistance in following up on his applications. Warner also revealed that he applied for the FUL after he was robbed twice at gunpoint.

“Were they acting on their own volition? That makes it worse,” Hosein said. Hosein questioned why Young was checking on the blasting licence, as he noted that such did not fall under the purview of his then-ministry. 

“Blasting permits are issued under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) by the Police Commissioner with advice from the chief factory inspector. The Ministry of National Security has no role to play with blasting permits,” Hosein said.