As the information continues to come out about the Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB), THE NEW TODAY is more and more convinced that the Integrity Commission is not the most appropriate body to investigate alleged corruption and wrongdoing at this important state enterprise.
There is now evidence emerging that two fires at the River Road depot of MNIB about seven months ago were deliberate acts of arson and that criminal elements are being sought by the police as the possible culprits.
This is an investigation that should be put in the hands of an agency that focuses on fighting crimes and not the politically-tainted Integrity Commission of Anande Trotman-Joseph.
This newspaper is calling on the Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) government to invite Scotland Yard to come in and take charge of this investigation into MNIB to get at those who were allegedly engaged in the acts of arson, as well as those who are in the spotlight for the misuse and misappropriation of the funds of this state-owned body.
The word in some quarters is that the real intention of the government is to mount an investigation to get at two persons especially a former Ambassador who is now out of favour with the regime.
It is therefore very critical that a more independent body like Scotland Yard be called in to look into the MNIB affair and present a report in which the Director of Public Prosecutions can then be given a free hand to press charges against anyone who is found culpable.
Scotland Yard and not the Integrity Commission should be put in full charge of the criminal investigation that is needed to be done in an independent manner to get at the bottom of the alleged wrong doing at the state body.
Scotland Yard has the skilled personnel and resources for the job unlike the Integrity Commission which is trying to take on a task that is way beyond its ability and competence.
Why would Mr. Robert Robinson, the head of the investigating group, given his age, want to take on something so huge a task given the information now surfacing and especially in an area where he is not known to have any of the specialised skills for the job at hand?
This is not a labour relations issue, Mr. Robinson but a serious criminal investigation into wrong doing including arson in a very important state body.
The job at hand has to be done by people who have years of training to fight against the criminal elements who are out there and should not be allowed to escape the full force of the law for trying to burn and destroy documents at the MNIB Depot at River Road.
It is noted that the local Police Force had to look for outside assistance in solving the two MNIB fires which took place within six days apart earlier in the year.
If they could not solve the crime on their own, can we expect them to play any meaningful role in the wider investigation that the Integrity Commission is trying to do with MNIB?
The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) has also been dead silent and withholding information from the people of the Tri-island state of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique on the outcome of their investigation into the MNIB fire.
Credible information has reached us that a fire expert from neighbouring Trinidad & Tobago who was brought in to help with the investigation concluded that the fire was deliberately set.
Why is the police force not disclosing this to the public? Why the hush-up and secrecy? Is someone muzzling the lawmen and putting a squeeze on them to keep the information away from the public with respect to the MNIB fire at the River Road depot?
Another piece of the puzzle is the rationale behind what appears to be the failure on the part of the investigators to interview a senior police officer who was known to be in the vicinity of the River Road depot moments before the fire broke out.
It is our understanding that the officer saw something and yet no one saw it fit and proper to solicit the information from him? Why?
As Minister of National Security, did the Commissioner of Police brief Prime Minister Mitchell on the findings of the foreign expert on the MNIB fires? If so, why the leader of the country did not inform the people of Grenada that the trail was leading to arson?
If Prime Minister Mitchell who is the line minister for MNIB has nothing to hide then he should not be afraid to face up to a questioning session from Scotland Yard on all he knew about the MNIB, when he knew it and what he did about the information put at his disposal prior to the breaking of the MNIB financial scandal by THE NEW TODAY.
This newspaper is confident that PM Mitchell will be singing a quite different song before a proper and independent investigation on what he told the press a few weeks ago as the MNIB fiasco unfolded.
Would Minister Oliver Joseph speak the truth before such a body on what he did with the information that was provided to him by former MNIB Board Chairman, Samuel Andrew about the handling of MNIB finances by former Chief Executive Officer, Ruel Edwards?
Did Mr. Joseph brief the Prime Minister on the MNIB affair when he was being relieved of his position as Line Minister?
THE NEW TODAY holds strongly to the position that the Anande Trotman-led Integrity Commission is not a competent body enough to undertake the kind of investigation that is needed to be done on the MNIB fiasco and it is time for Scotland Yard to be called in to take charge.