The Haitians after they were sent back to hotel after being released from protective custody
A video has circulated in which Allandres Archer has indicated that he did not authorize Attorney-at-Law Darren Wade to file legal proceedings against the State challenging the deportation of 26 Haitian nationals.
In light of this damning revelation, Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall has filed an application in which he is asking that the matter be dismissed as it breaches aspects of the Civil Procedure Rules of 2016.
On December 01, 2020, a city magistrate ordered that the Haitian nationals be deported as they violated the Immigration Act when they lied to the Police about where they would be staying upon their arrival in Guyana.
A few days later, Wade filed an application on behalf of Archer in which he challenged the constitutionality of the deportation order.
Among other things, Wade argued that the order for deportation violated the fundamental rights provisions of the Constitution of Guyana.
As such, Chief Justice Roxane George, SC, granted an conservatory order halting the deportation of the Haitians until the court makes a pronouncement on the matter.
Sometime after, the Haitians who were being kept in protective custody at the Hugo Chavez Rehabilitation Centre, as it was suspected that they were victims of human trafficking, were released at a hotel of their choice.
According to the Attorney General, the foreign nationals have since disappeared which now confirms the Government’s suspicion.
Even Wade has been unable to account for the whereabouts of these persons he was hired to represent.
In asking the court to dismiss the application, Nandlall submits that Archer, in the video, said that the Association of Haitian Nationals in Guyana, asked him to give an affidavit as a witness of what transpired the night the Haitians were arrested.
The Attorney General said that Archer disclosed that this was the extent of what he agreed to. Nandlall said that Archer indicated that he indeed signed the documents but was unaware of what he was signing.
In this regard, Nandlall stated that it was the duty of Wade as a lawyer to inform Archer of the contents of the documents and the consequences of the execution of the documents before he signed them.
Nandlall, therefore, argues that Wade has breached his duty as an Attorney. Given that the proceedings were instituted without the consent of Archer, Nandlall contends that it is fundamentally flawed and amounts to a nullity.
The Attorney General submits that it is now incumbent on Wade to prove that he has lawful authority to institute these proceedings.
“[Wade] cannot advocate for the Respondent [Archer] who has indicated that he did not authorize the institution of the legal proceedings and is currently a party to the proceedings against his will,” Nandlall argues.
The Attorney General further argues that Wade breached his duty to the court when he brought the action knowing that he did not have the authority to do so.
The Haitians arrived in Guyana on November 07, 2020, and were arrested by Police while they were en route to Brazil. They were taken to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Headquarters where they were questioned.
The foreign nationals-10 males, nine females and seven children-were later taken into protective custody as officials suspected they were victims of people snuggling. The Police and Home Affairs Ministry had launched a joint probe.
“It is clear, this was people smuggling…you had children without their parents, you had the breach of our immigration laws…everybody gave the same address and the address doesn’t exist,” President Dr. Irfaan Ali had said on the matter.
Despite the whereabouts of the Haitians being unknown, the Chief Justice during a hearing on December 18, 2020, said she will go ahead and hear the matter since it touches on “very important issues.”
The matter comes up again on January 27, 2021 at the High Court in Demerara.