UPP delivers petition to Governor General calling for an inquiry into Antigua Airways

Editorial Staff

May 18, 2023

Governor General Sir Rodney Williams has in his possession, a petition signed by thousands of residents, supporting a public inquiry into Antigua Airways.

The Opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) has made good on its promise to deliver a petition to the Governor General, asking that he launch an inquiry into

On Wednesday morning, a delegation of about 10 people, including Opposition MPs, and members of the clergy, hand-delivered the petition to Sir Rodney

UPP Legal Advisor Leon Chaku Symister told the media that the issue can no longer be swept under the carpet because it is a worldwide issue

“The country is now being looked at as a place where persons are transshipped to the United States. Some are of the view that migrant smuggling or human trafficking is taking place, and that is something we don’t want our country’s name to be associated with”

“We think that based on the information we are getting from the government, only a full public inquiry into this matter will set the record straight…” he said

The government agreed with Antigua Airways to operate flights from West Africa directly to the Caribbean but that agreement was contaminated after Cameroonians who landed here were given a false impression that they would be flown to the US afterward.

Antigua & Barbuda then suspended Antigua Airways’ chartered flights from West Africa as the carrier has not fully complied with regulatory requirements, according to a decision by the country’s Cabinet on January 26, 2023.

“It is important to note that we were told that Antigua and Barbuda has a 20% share in Antigua Airways, and we were told that our share represented 10 CIP files. Later, we were told that Antigua Airways was defunct. Then we were told we never gave them the files. There are just too many questions…” Symister added.

Saying,We know that a Commission of Inquiry has a cost to it, and we know the government has consistently claimed that it has no money. We are ready to raise money to help finance such an inquiry if money is an issue,”

Meanwhile Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister Lionel Hurst said on Thursday that the Governor General has no authority to call any inquiry

“The law is very clear. The Governor-General has no authority to call an inquiry and when a decision about an inquiry has been made, it is the Cabinet that makes that decision and advises the Governor-General so that he can sign the necessary documents. But the Governor-General himself cannot act,’ Hurst said.

He said the UPP is fully aware that the GG does not have any authority to call an inquiry

“The authority rests with the cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda. An inquiry is an extraordinarily expensive undertaking, and it would take, I suppose, several million dollars. The governor general does not have millions of dollars at his disposal to summon an inquiry, Hurst said


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