The way is now clear for the Integrity Commission to proceed with its investigations into the operations of the Marketing & National Importing Board (MNIB) for the period 2012 to 2018.
At a sitting of the Court of Appeal on Monday, 12 October 2020, Sandiford Ruel Edwards withdrew his appeal against the 28 July 2019 decision of Justice Godfrey Smith dismissing his High Court Claim, which sought to stop the ongoing investigation. Monday’s sitting of the Court of Appeal was presided over by the Honourable Chief Justice, Dame Janice Pereira DBE, along with Justices of Appeal Gertel Thom, and Paul Webster QC (Ag).
Upon filing his appeal on 6 August 2019, Edwards also applied for and obtained an Interim Injunction from the Court of Appeal staying the investigation pending the hearing and determination of the appeal.
On 3 July 2020, the Integrity Commission applied to the court to strike out the appeal in light of Edwards’ failure to take certain steps to move the matter forward. In the alternative, the Commission requested the Court to discharge the 25 October 2019 Interim Injunction so as to allow the MNIB investigation to continue pending the appeal.
At Monday’s hearing of the striking out application, following submissions of Counsel for the Commission, Ruggles Ferguson, attorneys for Edwards, informed the court they were withdrawing the appeal. There are therefore no further pending matters before the court regarding this issue.
The Integrity Commission now plans to conclude its investigations and its report, which will include its findings and recommendations.
It is expected that the recommendations will serve as a guide for best practices for the management and accountability of national and regional statutory bodies.
Edwards was represented by Attorneys-at-Law Keith Scotland and Cajeton Hood, and the Integrity Commission by Attorney-at-Law Ruggles Ferguson of Ciboney Chambers.
Office of the Integrity Commission
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