Lawyer soaked with beer

A lawyer representing six members of Pan Trinbago’s central executive who were ousted from the organisation last month, yesterday sought to stop an alleged move by the organisation to hold a special convention.

As members of the organisation gathered at the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) Hall in Port-of-Spain yesterday, attorney Farid Scoon arrived to serve them with an injunction granted by High Court Judge Ronnie Boodoosingh two weeks ago.

The injunction bars the interim committee, which was appointed by a large group of members after they voted to remove the executive members last month, from meeting and making any decisions in relation to the organisation. The injunction will last until the former executive members’ lawsuit before Boodoosingh is determined.

But Scoon was greeted by a group of boisterous band members and there was a brief verbal exchange.

In a telephone interview afterwards, Scoon said the exchange was not as bad as it initially appeared to onlookers.

“Somebody threw beer on me but other than that it was just loud talking,” Scoon said.

After Scoon left, former Pan Trinbago president Keith Diaz, who stepped down last month and was given a spot on the interim committee, was seen sitting outside.

While the media were barred from going inside, several members said the meeting was not a special convention as initially alleged, but rather a general meeting for a group of members.

“They are just looking to inform the members of what happened in court and what it means for the organisation,” one member, who asked to remain unidentified, said.

The group of ousted executive members consist of secretary Richard Forteau, treasurer Andrew Salvador, PRO Michael Joseph, external relations officer Darren Sheppard and trustees Allan Augustus and Trevor Reid.

In addition to Diaz, they are also suing Gerard Mendez and Marie Toby, who chair the organisation’s Northern and Tobago Zones respectively.

Mendez and Toby were chosen at the meeting to be part of the caretaker committee that was meant to oversee the organisation’s operations until an election due in October.

The group of former executives is claiming that the extraordinary meeting, in which they were purportedly removed, was illegal.

According to his affidavit filed pursuant to the claim, Forteau is claiming that while the organisation’s constitution requires that he (the secretary) facilitate such meetings, he was excluded from the process. He also questioned whether there was the appropriate quorum of members to requisition the meeting.

The constitution requires that 60 per cent of the membership (122 out of 204 steel bands) is required to call for such a meeting, but Forteau claims only 85 bands were represented in the requisition that was sent to Diaz last month. Forteau also alleged that from his analysis, some of the signatures on the requisition were from two delegates from the same band, but that such a move is illegal as each band is allotted one vote.

During the application for the injunction earlier this month, the organisation’s lawyer Frederick Gilkes submitted that Diaz had no choice but to call the meeting, as he did not have a discretion once he received the requisitions from sufficient members.

Source: (Derek Achong)

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