No one could have imagined how inept Reginald Armour would turn out to be as the replacement for the disastrous Faris Al-Rawi. No citizen takes any pleasure in seeing the office of the AG being destroyed daily by Armour, who is simply incompetent for the job. His incompetence is combined with a tasteless arrogance when faced with questions which fuel his destruction of a once venerated office.
1. He lied to a US court and was thereby disqualified from representing Trinidad and Tobago as the Attorney General. He lost all his appeals afterward. The disqualification has cost the taxpayers almost 40 million dollars.
2. Armour allegedly “lost” a file in the high profile Vindra Naipaul-Coolman murder case, and cost the taxpayers 20 million dollars.
3. Another failure was in the Deposit Insurance Company (DIC) case, where he did not even file a defence at all in his previous position, and as Attorney-General proposed that the taxpayers pay the victim “hush money” to force the claimant to remain silent about the abuse, incompetence and injustice of the PNM-controlled State. This will cost taxpayers almost 4 million dollars.
4. He has made a total mess of any legislation he has brought to parliament.
5. He has scuttled and delayed the procurement legislation thereby enabling corruption in public procurement.
6. Reginald Armour has now publicly accused the DPP’s Office of underperforming, and declaring that the severe shortage of staff was “an unsatisfactory explanation”.
In only one year, this was an incomprehensible level of professional incompetence and negligence that would have seemed to have reached its limit. Yet, this list of fiascos keeps growing.
Under my administration, a Cabinet decision was taken that the DPP’s office be staffed with 137 prosecutors. Today, however, under Rowley there are 58 prosecutors. This was revealed by Roger Gaspard in an interview last week, which apparently prompted the recent attack by Rowley.
The staff shortage at the office of the DPP has severely traumatized, overworked, and physically and mentally damaged persons at the DPP’s Office. Indeed, 16 of them signed a two-page letter detailing their grievances to the Attorney-General, and demanded a public apology and withdrawal of his adverse comments.
After only one-year Armour will be remembered as the worst attorney general in the history of Trinidad and Tobago.
He should summon any honour left within himself, apologize to the DPP and resign in order to protect the office of the attorney general.
He has lost all respect from his peers and the wider citizenry, the only exception being the ‘eat a food’ lawyers who grovel at his table. His continuation in office will only hasten the collapse of the justice system in our country.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition
16th March 2023