…Police duty-bound to enforce law without fear or favour – Benn
Former Minister and current Opposition Member of Parliament, Annette Ferguson was arrested by ranks of the Guyana Police Force on Wednesday for allegedly cyberbullying a senior member of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).
The Guyana Police Force has since said that Ferguson was arrested by ranks from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Headquarters, Eve Leary, after a report in relation to a cybercrime allegation was filed against her.
“The [complainant] is a senior member of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) who made the allegation against Ms Ferguson in relation to a Facebook social media post which falsely alleged that the said senior GDF rank will be in charge of a killing squad,” the Police said.
The Opposition MP was eventually released on her recognisance later Wednesday afternoon after being interviewed by investigators in the presence of her lawyer.
Nevertheless, investigations are ongoing and upon completion, the file will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for legal advice.
Without fear or favour
Since her arrest, however, members of the APNU/AFC Opposition have come out attacking the Police Force and the PPP/C Government. But Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn condemned this, especially remarks made by Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon in a statement.
Harmon had claimed that Ferguson was arrested on spurious grounds and that it was a clear case of political persecution against the Opposition Member. The Opposition Leader also called for the withdrawal of what he said are “spurious, baseless and politically motivated charges.”
However, Minister Benn in a subsequent missive responding to Harmon, rejected the assertions made by the Opposition Leader.
“Mr Harmon, of all persons, should need no reminding that all persons – inclusive of Members of Parliament and, also, members of the APNU/AFC – are subject to the Laws of Guyana adherence to which the Guyana Police Force is duty bound to enforce without fear or favour,” Benn posited.
Further, the Home Affairs Minister went on to address what he described as Harmon’s now natural reflexive instincts of making unwarranted attacks about partisan “…political persecution…”, “…weaponizing of the Guyana Police Force…” along with dire warnings of civil unrest.
According to Benn, these are not only grossly untrue but are of malicious intent.
In fact, the Minister outlined that the Opposition Leader’s statement seems intent on continuing the effort to shield and protect from judicial review, lawbreaking by persons who are intent on precipitating a breakdown of law and order and the undermining of democracy by initiating civil unrest.
“When viewed from its advocacy and reckless support of Ms Ferguson’s present gross indiscretions Harmon’s statement goes further by identifying the continuous resort to the racist and seditious playbook he has ready at hand,” Benn asserted.
Nonetheless, the Home Affairs Minister went on to call on citizens to be wary of, and vigilant, in rejecting and avoiding the dangerous invective in Harmon’s statement and to allow the normal due lawful and legal process to take its course in the probe into the allegations made against Ferguson.