The opposiion believes Benjamin should be stripped of the portfolios of legal affairs, attorney general and labour, as well
“We believe that as attorney general, as the government’s legal advisor, he cannot sit and advise the government legally at this time when he is one of the persons whose name has been implicated in this sordid affair,” Lovell told a news conference, Tuesday.
The UPP leader charged that the AG has made certain statements in the media, which on close examination, cannot stand up to scrutiny.
He referenced a Daily OBSERVER newspaper article of Monday July 27, in which Benjamin was quoted as saying the 14 Syrians who have been detained are visitors to Antigua & Barbuda.
“In our view, when one considers that persons have been widely reported to have stated that they or their families paid US$10,000 and US$20,000 in addition to airfare, and in addition to the regular US$100 fee for visa waivers, that these sums were paid in order for them to obtain a waiver, we believe that in those circumstances Benjamin must answer and to say whether or not the proper procedures were followed and whether or not the sponsors who approached him, whether he carried out the necessary due diligence and care to ascertain the applications for waiver were justified,” Lovell said.
Lovell said the UPP is also concerned that several of the names of individuals which the Immigration minister stated were here as visitors were actually working in Antigua & Barbuda on Work Permits issued by the Ministry of Labour and signed by the minister.
He listed the names of several people, who he claimed was employed in the country.
“We believe that for the minister to state that these persons were hear as visitors, knowing fully well that work permits were granted to these persons, that is disingenuous and he is unfit in those circumstances to hold the high office of attorney general with the other attendant portfolios,” the UPP political leader said.