Categorized | National News

COI Files for Commission of Inquiry

By Keile Campbell

Journal Staff Writer

The Coalition of Independents(COI)delivered a submission of a commission of inquiry to the Office of the Governor General earlier this week in relation to suspected “unlawful actions” of the Davis administration with regards to immigration.

In the saga revolved around the Bahamas Department of Immigration and the Minister of Labour and Immigration Keith Bell, this submission of inquiry came after it was revealed by staff of the Department of Immigration several transgressions within their department, particularly related to issued work permits as well as alleged interference by Minister Bell with the work of immigration officials.

COI Leader Lincoln Bain told the media why the political party’s actions are necessary.

“We should not have corruption in our immigration department. Our borders belong to us, our citizenships belong to us and we must safeguard them. So, what we’ve decided to do is that after we’ve given them a warning, we’ve decided to file for a commission of inquiry as it relates to the actions of the minister of immigration and probably other government officials in relation to his actions at absolutely operating the department where he should not be. He is a minister and day-to-day [operations] is supposed to be done by the director [of immigration],” Mr. Bain said.

“We are concerned of interference and we’re concerned of the documented evidence that we have provided to the public that the minister himself has issued work permits, even of people who are already deported and were recommended to be put on the stop list. We are concerned about these things and based on his actions we must have a commission of inquiry. We’ve had commissions of inquiry for lesser things.”

Mr. Bain added that the minister of immigration as well as the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) have “doubled down,” and insisted that the minister has done nothing illegal, to which Mr. Bain cited cases in the past where ministers have resigned while he further alleged that the immigration issue has drawn unwanted attention from the United States.

“We’ve had many ministers who’ve had to resign for things that were not unlawful or illegal, and we are curious as to why the minister is refusing to resign when there’s so much evidence piling up against him. We need to end corruption and we need to end it now,” Mr. Bain said.

“We’ve also received information that the United States government is also now worried about human trafficking of Chinese nationals. On July 16th there was a capture of six persons that were repatriated back to The Bahamas, six Chinese nationals, and it seems to be happening on a regular basis now. We are concerned with human trafficking because of the obvious dangers of it.”

While Mr. Bain professed their motives are not political, the leader of the COI party said they’ve drafted a letter addressed to the King of England Charles III. He explained that these efforts are to “inform the world” of the immigration crisis in The Bahamas, and further added that it cannot be accepted.

He also mentioned two other commissions of inquiry that were filed by the COI, which according to Mr. Bain has not seen much progress.

“We have filed for two other commissions of inquiry in relation to our natural resources, and of course, we have not heard – well, we heard back from the governor general, eventually that he was looking into it and that the matter was moving forward, and all this time later nothing has still happened, and there seems to be some scandal as it relates to that,” the COI leader explained.

“We are hoping that justice will reign. We are also adding His Majesty to this information, writing this information to him and sending evidence to the king himself and we are hoping that justice prevails.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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