Opposition leader calls on FIU director to resign over “blatant abuse of power”

Home*Cover Story*News

Opposition leader calls on FIU director to resign over “blatant abuse of power”

The director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Nigel Stoddard must resign now.

That’s the call being made by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, after Stoddard was accused of exercising a “blatant abuse of power “against Mr and Mrs Gary Griffith”.

Her call comes on the heels of a High Court judge ruling, that the FIU had “abused its power” and acted unconstitutionally when it attempted to access the Griffiths’ private banking information from several banks.

In a statement, the Opposition Leader said, “For the honour of the office to stand, Mr Stoddard must do the honourable thing and resign without reservation immediately. The nation is waiting,”

She said Stoddard’s “arbitrary and unjustified action” was exposed by the judge, and he should “step down following the blatant abuse of power by the FIU with respect to the private banking information of Gary Griffith and Nicole Dyer-Griffith”.

She added, “The FIU Director has lost all legitimacy and the moral authority to oversee the financial integrity of anyone and must be replaced as head of this sensitive and important national institution.

“If Mr Stoddard refuses to vacate his office, the Public Services Commission must have him removed under applicable provisions of the relevant legislation.

“It is my respectful view that the legal overreach and misuse of his authority make Mr Stoddard subject to accusations of malfeasance in public office and as such, diminishes the integrity of the office once he continues to hold the office.”

Persad-Bissessar said it was highly regrettable “not only because of the critical functions of the FIU but also since the Director was hyped as being suitably qualified for the post, upon his appointment in 2019”.

She added, “The misdeed and injustice perpetrated by the FIU with respect to Mr and Mrs Griffith indicates that yet another crucial national institution is being manipulated and weaponized by the authoritarian Rowley regime for political gain against citizens of our great republic.

“The manipulation of key institutions is further disturbing evidence of our country becoming a police state and of law-abiding citizens being targeted by the political directorate. I again urge the national community to be vigilant and strident on Keith Rowley’s abuse of power and subversion of democracy.”