We now know veteran hotelier Peter Odle was recently appointed Chairman of Barbados Port Inc to replace Senator Lisa Cummins who was promote to the Cabinet of Barbados. His first salvo to the media was to sell his private sector experience acquired over many years. We will see Mr. Odle, we will see.
Meanwhile elsewhere it is left to social media players to prosecute a matter where Peter Odle’s name is mentioned. In recent days an unsigned letter addressed to Prime Minister Mia Mottley has been circulating in the Barbados social media space.
In brief, a dispute has arisen between Irish investor Alan McIntosh (Emerald Investment) and newly appointed Chairman Peter Odle. The investor resorted to the Barbados Courts on April 2018 – seeking for matter CV1233 of 2018 to be heard on an urgent basis. Mr. McIntosh has expressed shock that to date the matter is outstanding. See the letter attached which reaffirms an issue promoted regularly in this space, justice delayed is justice denied.
The blogmaster has communicated with our source, reviewed voluminous documents received to understand the details of the dispute. Mr. McIntosh deserves his day in court. The letter confirms a similar filing was made in a Guernsey court – the jurisdiction in which a loan agreement between the parties was consummated – and it was resolved in five months. There are no words to describe how Mr. McIntosh and others gripped in a full nelson by our court system must be feeling. Barbados is a country dependent on tourism and foreign direct investment (FDI). This case does not recommend Barbados as an easy place to do business if our courts are not functioning efficiently to dispense justice in a satisfactory time frame.
It is noteworthy Justice Rajendra Narine is acting Chief Justice now that former Chief Justice Marston Gibson has retired. The vacancy was advertised across the region and the application process will close on 7 September 2020. Successive governments have been unable to wrestle our moribund judicature labouring under the weight of a backlog of cases. Check BU Archives and Lawyer in the News Page for the avoidance of doubt. Prime Minister Mottley was on CNN International assuring all within earshot that Barbados is open for business despite COVID 19. On the flip side our Courts are not equipped to discharge all assigned duties were our guests forced to seek legal remedy.
The blogmaster holds no brief for Peter Odle, therefore this blog is not meant to denigrate the newly appointed Chairman and veteran hotelier. The primary message is to ask why Barbados is unable to deliver timely justice guaranteed under the Constitution to its constituents. William Alan McIntosh deserves for the local Courts to rule on his claim of USD550,000 (with interest and cost) owed by First Defendant Sandy Bay Holdings (2014) Inc and Second Defendant Peter Odle. For an aggrieved party to have to fight the Barbados Courts et al to remedy an injustice is the antithesis to what it should represent.