Basseterre, St.Kitts (July 17th 2010):- Peoples Action Movement Leader Lindsay Grant is questioning the wisdom of the Minister of National Security’s recent announcement that former Police Chief Robert Jeffers and former Attorney General Dr. Dennis Merchant have been hired as consultants in the Ministry. In a press release dated Friday 16th July from the Police Public Relations Office it was revealed that both Jeffers and Merchant were introduced to members of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force at the Police Recreation Room, Police Headquarters, Basseterre, by the Minister of National Security the Hon. Sam Condor as consultants to the Police Force via the Ministry of National Security.
“It is difficult for me or any fair-minded citizen of this country to uncover the wisdom of these two appointments,” said Peoples Action Movement leader Lindsay Grant. “Here we have two gentlemen who have held two of the most significant posts in our justice system as well as our national security within the last 5-6 years. Dr. Merchant was our country’s Attorney General and Mr. Robert Jeffers was our country’s police Chief as recently as 2008. None of these gentlemen while holding these offices were able to curb the crime in our country. In fact under their watch crime escalated every single year. So it begs the question why are these two gentlemen who have essentially failed in their former roles as prominent figures in our justice system are now hired and paid as consultants in the Ministry which they made no positive impact to crime while they were there,” Grant lamented.
Jeffers retired in 2008 after having successive years of record breaking crime including the number of murders which saw a drastic increase during his tenure as commissioner.
Merchant was Attorney General for the Federation of St.Kitts-Nevis for the last 4 years before which he served as Director of Public Prosecutions. During his tenure as Attorney General the number of murders in the country grew from 16 in 2006 to 27 in 2009 a more than 50% increase. In 2009 he became the first Attorney General in the entire Commonwealth to be held in contempt of court.
“The hiring or appointment of Merchant and Jeffers is another example of government wastage and mismanagement of already scarce financial resources. These appointments are another means of lining or filling the pockets of party activists,” said Grant. Grant asserted “What can they bring now that they couldn’t while they served as Attorney General and Police Chief respectively up to as recently as last year”.