PAN TRINBAGO is facing legal action by a steelband over the central executive’s decision to postpone the 2021 annual general meeting at the end of the month.
Attorneys representing Fuad Abu Bakr, a delegate of Western Stars Philharmonic Steel Orchestra, wrote to president Beverly Ramsey-Moore on Tuesday demanding that PanTrinbago hold the convention and AGM no later than October 31.
They are also asking for the AGM to be held by electronic means.
In the alternative, the attorneys – Devvon Williams, Kelston Pope, and Ajesh Sumessar – gave Ramsey-Moore seven days to provide correspondence from the Health Ministry and the minutes of a meeting held in September 17, on the decision to postpone the convention and AGM.
They have also asked for any evidence Pan Trinbago’s membership agreed to postpone the meeting.
Bakr and the steelband he represents are questioning the executive’s decision to retain office until the convention and AGM, and its failure to find other means to hold the meeting, given the public health restrictions.
In the letter, Williams said the last convention was held in October 2018. The next meeting is supposed to be held by October 31, 2021.
The letter said on September 20, it was announced that the 2021 convention and AGM were being postponed until further notice because of the pandemic restrictions which prohibit large gatherings in one space.
Williams also told Ramsey-Moore the letter to members said the present committee will manage the association until the next convention and AGM.
He said at no point in the letter was a proposed date announced with certainty.
“It is also to be noted that information which has come into the public domain via newspaper publication suggest that the committee, and by extension the association, is acting with the support of the steelpan body wherein the ‘majority’ have signed their endorsement on the decision of the committee to postpone the 2021 convention.”
He said his client said the bands that had reportedly signed endorsements of this position had been “handpicked by the committee and do not represent the majority of the membership as suggested by you.
“Further, these signatures have only been obtained after the decision of the committee to postpone the convention was made.”
Williams also said the letter said there would be no consideration of alternative methods of hosting the convention, and because of the pandemic, the current committee members have “not been able to serve” as they would have desired, despite holding office uninterrupted for the recommended three years.
“It is to be noted that it was also stated that audits are being completed for presentation to the membership of the association.”
Williams said while the intention to postpone the convention because of the pandemic was noble, it was not in the best interest of Pan Trinbago at this time, as the constitution was clear: “A term for any officer of the association to hold office is not intended to exceed three years. The constitution of the association is quite clear on this point.”
The attorney added that the pandemic and the public health regulations were not sufficient to justify the “unilateral decision” to allow the present committee to continue for an unknown period.
“The committee must hold the election within the allotted timeframe. To do otherwise will amount to the committee acting outside or in excess of the powers conferred onto them.”