THE NEW TODAY newspaper has oversight of a letter written by local attorney-at-law, Ruggles Ferguson, threatening to haul the island’s Governor-General, Dame Cecile La Grenade to court for the second time within a year.
Ferguson, the lead attorney in Ciboney Chambers has Dame Cecile before the law courts over the controversial manner in which she sacked senior Civil Servant Judy Benoit from the post of Supervisor of Elections.
The barrister-at-law has been retained by Trinidad and Tobago-born educator, Dr. Curtis Jacobs to try and force the hands of the female head of State in a dispute he has with his former bosses, the University of the West Indies (UWI).
Dr. Jacobs was incensed with the decision of Dame Cecile to hand over to the Office of the Attorney-General for advice certain correspondence he sent to her to pass onto the Queen in her capacity as Her Majesty’s local representative.
The former local head of the UWI Open Campus on the island was seeking to get Her Majesty in her capacity as Arbitrator in UWI internal disputes to settle a conflict he had with the regional body on a new employment contract.
With Dame Cecile sending the letter to the AG’s Chambers, Dr. Jacobs retained Ciboney Chambers to dispatch the following letter to the Governor-General:
Dame Cecile La Grenade
Governor General of Grenada
Office of the Governor General
10th April 2014
Esteemed Governor General,
Subject: Application of Dr. Curtis Jacob to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Visitor of the University of the West Indies
We are instructed by Dr. Curtis Jacobs, Head of the University of the West Indies Open Campus Grenada, of Bay Gardens St. Paul’s in the parish of St. George in the State of Grenada.
With regard to the matter at caption we have the following instructions:
(a). On the 21st January 2014 our client delivered to the office of the Governor General, in her capacity as Representative of Her Majesty in Grenada, an Application to Her Majesty the Queen, Visitor of the University of the West Indies, seeking certain relief from the University of the West Indies pursuant to the Royal Charter of 1962 under which the University of the West Indies was established.
The Application was accompanied by a covering letter addressed to the Personal Assistant to the Governor General wherein our client respectfully requested that the Governor General forward his Application to Her Majesty.
(b). By letter dated 4th February 2014 our client inquired through the Personal Assistant to the Governor General whether the said Application had been forwarded as requested.
(c). On 11th February 2014 our client delivered to the Office of the Governor General an amended version of the Application delivered on January 21 2014.
(d). By letter dated 5th February 2014, which was received by our client on 13th February 2014, our client was informed by the Personal Assistant to the Governor General that his Application was forwarded to the Legal Department for advice.
(e). By letter dated 14th February 2014, addressed to the Personal Assistant to the Governor General, our client protested against the action of passing his Application to the Ministry of Legal Affairs rather than to Her Majesty and he requested that the Application be passed on to Her Majesty without further delay.
(f). By letter dated 18th February 2014, addressed to the Personal Assistant to the Governor General, our client expanded on his protest about the manner in which his Application was being handled and he intimated that if the situation was not resolved quickly he would be forced to consider legal action.
(g). By further letter dated February 24th 2014, addressed to the Personal Assistant to the Governor General, our client once again complained about how his application was being dealt with.
He also noted that his letters dated 11th Feb 2014, 14th Feb 2014 and 17th Feb 2014 addressed to the Personal Assistant to the Governor General were all unacknowledged.
(h). To date our client has not received confirmation that his Application and Amended Application have been forwarded to Her Majesty.
As you no doubt must be aware, this matter touches and concerns the very livelihood of our client.
In the premises, as legal counsel, we feel obligated to correspond directly to you on the captioned matter with the request that our client’s Application of January 21st 2014 and the Amended Application of 11th February, 2014 be forwarded to Her Majesty forthwith and that we be so advised within 7 days of receipt of this letter.
If this request is not acted on, we humbly advise that we will have to, with great regret, seek the assistance of the Court.
Editor’s Note: The matter was filed before the court but was eventually discontinued when Dame Cecile officially informed Ciboney Chambers that the correspondence were sent to the Queen. The court then ordered Dame Cecile to pay $750.00 in cost to Dr. Jacobs.