APNU+AFC Opposition Chief Whip, Christopher Jones has moved to the High Court to have President Dr. Irfaan Ali’s appointment of Assistant Commissioner Clifton Hicken as acting Commissioner of Police, revoked.
In court documents seen by this publication, Jones, an executive member of the PNC– the largest party in the Coalition– contends that the qualification to perform duties of Top Cop is the next senior officer, Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Williams.
Jones’ lawyers, Roysdale Forde, SC and Selwyn Pieters are asking the court to declare that President Ali’s invocation of the “doctrine of necessity” in appointing Hicken is not only unreasonable but ultra vires the Constitution, Common Law, and as such, is illegal, null, void and of no legal effect.
According to the Parliamentarian, there was no consultation between the President and Opposition Leader as is required by the Constitution, prior to the appointment of Hicken.
Jones said that when President Ali assumed office he had refused to engage with former Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon until the APNU+AFC recognised the legitimacy of the PPP/C government.
He submitted that there has been no publication in the Official Gazette or any other published legal document which attests to or substantively proves that Hicken is legally in office.
Against this backdrop, Jones is seeking an order compelling Hicken to show under what authority he is discharging the functions of the office of the Police Commissioner in an acting capacity. Hicken has been acting as Top Cop since March 30.
Jones has named Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall, SC and Hicken as the respondents in his action.
Hicken was appointed to act in the office of Commissioner of Police by President Ali, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, after former Commissioner of Police (ag) Nigel Hoppie proceeded on pre-retirement leave.
Before ascending to the helm of the Police Force, Hicken performed duties as Deputy Commissioner in charge of operations. He became well-known to the public during his time as Commander of Police A and B Divisions.
He also served as head of the Police Force’s Training Centre.