Friday, May 24, 2019
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Sands on resignation calls: the devil is a liar

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis suggested that the Progressive Liberal Party’s (PLP) call for the resignations of National Security Minister Marvin Dames and Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands following the acquittal of former PLP Senator Frank Smith on extortion and bribery charges, is nonsense and promised to prove why on Friday.

The Guardian spoke to the prime minister shortly after Sands himself dismissed the call for him to step down.

“In terms of a call for my resignation, the devil is a liar,” Sands said.

“I think the Progressive Liberal Party is looking to restore credibility in their own reason to exist. They are finding themselves flat footed in terms of their reception from the public of The Bahamas and they are trying to repurpose their party.

“They have been rejected by the people of The Bahamas and I suspect that unless they look critically at their fundamental flaws, they will continue to be rejected by the people of The Bahamas.”

When asked about the PLP’s call, Minnis said: “The PLP can ask for anything. That’s their job.

“They are opposition. They are to oppose everything with sense. But I’ll display tomorrow that some things they say do not have sense. So, for those who listen to us on Friday, they will hear.”

The prime minister will address a special meeting in Grand Bahama on Friday at the party’s headquarters on West Atlantic Drive.

Earlier this month, Davis questioned Dames and Sands’ conduct during the Frank Smith investigation.

Smith’s attorneys had made a no case submission to the court.

In her ruling on February 1, Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt decried the “egregious” conduct of both Dames and Sands.

Smith was charged in 2017 with abusing his position as chairman of the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) after the award of a $516,000 contract to Barbara Hanna, the owner of Magic Touch Cleaning, to clean the critical care unit of Princess Margaret Hospital.

Ferguson-Pratt found: “There is not a scintilla of evidence to support the fact that there was a meeting between Barbara Hanna and the accused prior to the award of the contract.”

During the course of the case it was revealed that Sands awarded a second contract of $1.8 million to Hanna, three months after Smith was charged.

Ferguson-Pratt said the circumstances of the contract raised a “specter of impropriety”.

It was also revealed that Dames met with Hanna before she made an official complaint to police.

The magistrate said that this meeting with the complainant was “unorthodox, to say the least”.

Krystel Brown

Online Editor at Nassau Guardian
Krystel covers breaking news for The Nassau Guardian. Krystel also manages The Guardian’s social media pages. She joined The Nassau Guardian in 2007 as a staff reporter, covering national news. She was promoted to online editor in May 2017.
Education: Benedict College, BA in Mass Communications

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