On Thursday 3rd March 2022, the Government announced the creation of yet another special committee, this time to investigate the preventable deaths of four underwater welders at Paria Fuel Trading’s facility.
One person named on this committee by Minister of Energy Stuart Young is Eugene Tiah. At no time did Minister Young disclose the fact that in 2014 he was the lawyer for Mr Tiah in a matter in the Court of Appeal against Evolving Technologies and Enterprises Development Companies Limited.
Also representing Mr Tiah alongside Minister Young in that matter was Michael Quamina, who is currently the Chairman of the Board of Trinidad Petroleum Holdings Limited, the parent company to Paria Fuel Trading Company Limited. Michael Quamina is also the personal attorney to Keith Rowley.
It is scandalous that Eugene Tiah was appointed to this investigative committee, without the fact of his prior close working and personal relationships with both Minister Young and Michael Quamina being fully disclosed to the public. This appointment opens the door to accusations of Government tampering and manipulation in these investigations.
By appointing a former client Minister Young’s actions are extremely unethical and yet another glaring example of the corrupt and surreptitious behaviour of this Rowley Government.
The Paria Tragedy is the worst industrial accident to occur in Trinidad and Tobago in almost forty years. It is imperative that the families of the deceased, as well as the public, have complete confidence in this investigative committee to unearth the truth without prejudice or bias. Justice must not only be done for the victims in this tragedy, it must be seen to be done.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition
5th March 2022