One day after National Insurance Board (NIB) Chairman Gregory Moss was fired, suspended Director Algernon Cargill filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court against him for contempt, calling for Moss to get jail time.
It is the latest in a firestorm of controversy surrounding the NIB scandal.
The papers were filed on Friday, and, according to Cargill’s attorney Alfred Sears, of Sears & Co., the process is in its “very early” stage and must first be considered by the court.
The affidavit comes on the heels of a New Year’s Day the statement embattled Moss released concerning the NIB controversy.
The Marco City MP was appointed in July of 2012.
Cargill was subsequently suspended amid allegations by Moss and the NIB and, in late November Cargill had filed court action against both parties for defamation.
In the weeks that ensued, Moss claimed he was vilified and on New Years Day he issued the press release in which he charged the prime minister and NIB Minister Shane Gibson failed to come to his defence.
Moss also referred to an NIB issued corporate credit card that also came into question and said the statement by Prime Minister Christie that he no longer had the card was “untrue.”
The next day, the prime minister asked Moss to resign and, after the chairman refused, fired him that following day.
The affidavit Cargill filed the next day called for an order for Moss to be committed to prison for contempt as he failed to obey a court order on December 19 prohibiting all parties from publishing that were the object of the defamation claim.
Sears said his firm was given instructions to file for committal and explained the process.
“For committal, you have to first go by what they call ex parte and see whether a judge would give you leave or not and that process hasn’t taken place as yet,” Sears said.
“There are two stages, one is you go before the judge by yourself. You can persuade the judge to give you leave and then if he gives you leave, then you serve the papers on the person summoning them to appear.”
He further revealed that the second hearing is heard in open court.
“It is still very early and we have not obtained leave as yet. we need to go before a judge and see if the judge feels that leave should be granted,” he said.
The Freeport News has been unable to reach Moss for comment since Thursday regarding any intentions of him resigning, his future in the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and as MP for Marco City.
We telephoned the constituency number on the party’s official website and, after several tries, spoke to a male on the other end who informed us that Mr. Moss was at his constituency headquarters.
A visit to his constituency headquarters proved futile as the office space was vacant and the only resemblance of him once being there was the large sign bearing the PLP symbol, colors and his picture.
Residents in the area, however, had not seen any activity at that site for some two months and had reportedly been told when asked that an announcement on their relocation would be made.
Our news team then traveled to the PLP Headquarters and was told that his office had been moved to a duplex building on
Tamarind Street and will be noticeable by his sign, which, several searches later, we learned does not exist.
A check at his private firm was also unsuccessful.
However, Prime Minister Christie told reporters in New Providence yesterday, when asked if his relationship with Moss was strained, that he took a photo with Moss at a restaurant in Grand Bahama on the weekend.
“I think you would have seen a published announcement that I saw where Mr. Moss indicated that he was continually supportive of my leadership,” he said.
As for reports that Moss may be resigning, the PLP Leader said he doesn’t think Moss will.
“I have and continue to believe that all the things he said about his support for the PLP and the leadership of the PLP he meant and will maintain. I have every confidence that that will take place,” he said.
In the meantime, Christie said he has a short list of names of individuals to replace Moss as chairman.
“I’d like to think that my recommendation will be accepted,” he said.
It is expected that he will first make that recommendation to his colleagues in Cabinet today.
By Lededra Marche
Freeport News Editor