‘Justice will prevail’

Former Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle yesterday stood by her record as minister following erroneous reports that she was under police investigation, adding that “justice will prevail”.

“I stand by my record that as minister, as far as I am aware, all proper procedures were followed, as far as I was aware as minister,” Rolle said.

“A minister does not know everything in a ministry at any given time. So, to the best of my knowledge, everything, as it relates to me, there were protocols, there were persons in places who should have followed protocols and I believe that they did.

“Where they did not, whatever investigations or injuries will reveal whatever process was or was not followed.”

On Tuesday, Eyewitness News reported that police were investigating Rolle, who resigned from Cabinet under the Minnis administration.

However, The Nassau Guardian understands that while police are probing the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and the Ministry of Social Services, no such investigations are taking place with regard to Rolle.

Rolle was asked yesterday about the alleged investigation.

She responded, “I certainly believe that in due time, the truth will be exposed. I have resigned from Cabinet from February 23, 2021, and since then, we are here today.

“I recall the last official report, the audit report disclosed to my information that the accounts of Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture were fairly maintained.

“I did not hear that another audit or any further investigation was going on and so we are where we are today.”

The former Seabreeze MP noted that she served in the police force for more than a decade and trusts police officers.

She added that she also serves as an officer of the court as an attorney.

“I trust that the due process of the court will be followed, the rule of law will take its course and justice will prevail,” Rolle said.

Rolle said police had not reached out to her.

Rolle was the only female member of Dr. Hubert Minnis’ Cabinet at the time of her resignation.

She did not give a reason in her resignation letter to the governor general and declined to provide any reason yesterday.

Hours after her resignation letter surfaced, the Cabinet Office released a statement formally announcing the resignation and added, “Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis has accepted Mrs. Rolle’s resignation. Certain matters have been brought to the attention of the prime minister and are under investigation.”

However, the parameters of the investigation were not specified.

An auditor general’s audit was conducted into the National Sports Authority (NSA), which fell under Rolle, between February 23, 2021, and March 10, 2021, and covered the period July 1, 2018, and January 31, 2021.

The audit, which was tabled last year, found several instances where people were hired by the NSA without board approval, without positions being advertised and, in one instance, where an employee’s salary exceeded the “midpoint” range of $50,000.

Auditor General Terrance Bastian reviewed eight contracts issued by the NSA.

He found that the procurement exercise was not conducted for a contract valued at $45,600.

In another instance, Bastian found that a December 14, 2020 contract, valued at $168,000, was signed “without board approval”.

The contract, he wrote, was signed by the chairman and the contractor.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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