Community ReportCrimeNews

Trevor Benn still not allowed to plea as ‘land sale’ charge

A charge of misconduct in public office against the former Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC), Trevor Benn remains indictable; he has still not been allowed to enter a plea.

Benn made his second court appearance on Wednesday before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts. The matter has been adjourned to May 3, 2021, for statements.

On March 12, last 53-year-old Benn made his first appearance before Senior Magistrate Leron Daly who read a charge of misconduct in public office to him. He was released on $200,000 bail.

The charge concerns the leasing of six acres of land at Ogle, East Coast Demerara (ECD) to Janico Vide Engineering Limited.

The charge stated that between January 1, 2018, and March 31, 2020, at GL&SC, Georgetown, while being a public officer,  he wilfully misconducted himself by causing $27M to be paid by Janico Vide Industrial Engineering Limited for the lease of six acres of land at Plantation Ogle, ECD, knowing at the time GL&SC did not have the authority to lease any lands.

The charge further stated that he granted a provisional lease on March 27, 2020, to Janico Vide Industrial Engineering Limited without any description and that his wilful misconduct amounted to a breach of the public’s trust, without any excuse reasonable or justification. Benn was not required to plead to the indictable charge.

According to reports, during the period mentioned, Benn who was Commissioner at the time allegedly leased six acres of State lands located at Ogle, East Coast Demerara. The lands valued at $27M belonged to the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) and not GL&SC.

Benn was appointed boss of GL&SC in 2016 by the David Granger administration and was granted presidential powers related to the renting and granting of leases, licenses, and permission of occupancy of all public lands.

However, when President Dr. Irfaan Ali’s administration took office in August 2020, Benn was stripped of those powers and was later fired on February 4, 2021.