Benoit succeeds in Round One against Dame Cecile

The path is now clear for former Supervisor of Elections, Judy Benoit to take legal proceedings against Governor General, Dr. Cecile La Grenade.

High Court Judge, Madam Justice Paula Gilford, last week Thursday, granted leave for Benoit to seek Judicial Review of her dismissal two months ago as the island’s Supervisor of Elections.

Attorney-at-law, Ruggles Ferguson of Ciboney Chambers filed the court papers on behalf of Benoit who had supervised the February 19 General Elections won handsomely by the New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell.

Dame Cecile moved against the Supervisor of Elections after she questioned the legitimacy of some directives given to her by the Cabinet of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.

A letter written by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Lana Mc Phail, dated August 28, informed Benoit that at its meeting of July 29, Cabinet approved the use of eight electoral centres for registration and issuance of ID cards as part of a proposed Electronic Government Regional Integration Project (EGRIP) to help in the networking of government offices.

Benoit responded to the directive by pointing out that the EGRIP project involving the Parliamentary Elections Constituency Office could constitute a breach of legislation which governs the independence of the island’s electoral process.

Dame Cecile intervened and summoned Benoit to her office and pointed out that Grenada stood to loose a lot of money if the programme was not implemented by government.

She then informed her without any notice that she was removing her from the post of Supervisor of Elections.

The GG then immediately called in Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Aaron Francois who was sitting in another room to announce to him that he will take charge of the Office of Supervisor of Elections.

At a sitting of the high court last week Thursday, Justice Gilford who reviewed the legal documents that were filed by Ciboney Chamber, informed attorney Ferguson that she was satisfied that a case has been made out for leave without having to listen to legal arguments.

The substantive issues of Benoit’s dismissal aimed at having it quashed will be determined next year by the high court.

If successful, Ferguson is also seeking compensation for damage on behalf of the sacked Supervisor of Elections.




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