Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO) Roxanne Myers is seeking more than $150 million in damages from Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo and the News Room (the defendants) over slanderous remarks that she held GECOM Chairman retired Judge Claudette Singh hostage.
Myers claims that on March 5, 2020, at GECOM’s Command Centre at High and Hadfield Streets, Georgetown Jagdeo uttered the above and other libelous remarks about her which were later published by the News Room.
The defendants published her name as one who acted illegally, corruptly, and ultra vires in her capacity as DCEOas it pertains to the March 2, 2020 elections, Myers said in court documents filed at the High Court.
In the Statement of Claim seen by this publication, Myers said the defendants expressly accused her of acting above the law and having arrogated or attempted to arrogate unto her self jurisdiction to influence the outcome of the Region 4 (Demerara-Mahaica) declaration.
According to her, the defendants further accused her of detaining and or otherwise controlling the body and person of the GECOM Chairperson, and or otherwise directed the Marshals of the Supreme Court of Judicature.
Myers complains that prior to the publication of Jagdeo’s slanderous statements, the News Room never put the allegations to her or invited her to counter his utterances. Through her lawyers Nigel Hughes and Eusi Anderson, she deposes that the statements about her are untrue, malicious, and penned in undiluted falsehood.
As such, she submitted that she denies acting in collusion with the PNCR, APNU, Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield, and Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo or others or subverting the service of injunctive proceedings or ultra vires in her capacity as DCEO regarding the March 2, 2020 elections.
The DCEO’s counsel contends that the falsehood levelled against their client by the defendants “have substantially hurt and diminished her image in the eyes and minds of the Guyanese public and international community.”
The lawyers further contend that the words published by the defendants to the reasonable reader mean that their client is dishonest, prone to kidnapping and taking people hostage, prone to committing fraud, and biased towards the APNU.
Apart from damages, Myers is asking the High Court to grant a permanent injunction restraining the defendants whether by their servants and/or agents from further publishing or causing to be published by any means whatsoever the interview with Jagdeo.
She is also seeking an order that the defendants cause to be published in the electronic/online versions of the News Room, a retraction and apology to her for the false, malicious, and defamatory statements impugning her character and reputation.
Moreover, the DCEO wants a mandatory injunction compelling the News Room to forthwith permanently remove the interview with Jagdeo from its Facebook page. The embattled election official is further asking the court to award her aggravated and exemplary damages, costs, and interest pursuant to the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provision) Act.