It was a tale of contrasting reactions at the Supreme Court Wednesday, as attorneys from the Solicitor General’s office sought to overturn the injunction which bars Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler from proceeding with the dismissal of the Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados Dr DeLisle Worrell.
By way of an urgent High Court hearing last Sunday evening, the Governor, through his attorney Gregory Nicholls, argued for and was granted a temporary injunction by Justice Randall Worrell.
However, after hearing arguments from Nicholls and counter arguments from Solicitor General Jennifer Edwards, QC, Justice Worrell Wednesday granted the Governor a longer stay until Friday.
It was an energetic and smiling Worrell, who ascended the steps of the High Court at 12:46 p.m. Wednesday, flanked by his attorneys Nicholls, Janice Browne and Renee Butcher.
No words were uttered from his lips. However, the embattled Governor gestured confidently to media personnel as he made his way into the court for his professional fate to be considered.
However, after a more than two-hour hearing which ended around 3:30 p.m., Worrell opted to slip out of court via the backdoor, avoiding any possible probing by members of the Press.
The state attorneys also opted to use the court’s rear exit without taking any questions from the media.
However Nicholls was ready for the cameras. In fact, he was happy to tell reporters exactly how satisfied Worrell was with his legal arguments.
“For a lawyer, that is a very good pat on the back,” he said.
In the meantime, there was no sign of Sinckler in and around the court Wednesday.
However, there was no getting away from the cameras as reporters followed him to the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre Wednesday morning, where he appeared quite pensive as he attended the launch of the US$11.8 million Electronic Single-Window (ESW) system.
This came mere hours before Wednesday’s high-level court case, which was heard in Supreme Court No. 9. at White Park Road, Bridgetown.
However, prior to delivering his feature remarks, a smiling Sinckler put members of the media on notice that he would not be commenting on the ongoing saga between him and Governor of the Central Bank.
“Welcome all of you. Of course all of the special people who would have attended this morning, including my colleagues from the media who might be here for different reasons. And I hope to be able to disappoint you as I will make my out this morning,” he said before moving on to the substance of his address.
Following that presentation, he would however still face questioning from Barbados TODAY on the court case, as well as recent calls for him to step down.
However, Sinckler simply remained mum.
Barbados TODAY also sought to canvass the views of local attorneys on the ongoing court matter, but none appeared willing to get entangled in the high-level legal imbroglio, except for Queen’s Counsel Roger Forde, who was bold enough to say he did not expect the court to rule in Worrell’s favour.
Without knowing all the facts surrounding the ongoing legal challenge, Forde told Barbados TODAY consideration had to be given to the fact that the Governor has to report directly to a Minister, who no longer wants his advice on matters of State.
“I find it strange that a willing employee [the Governor] was seeking to have an engagement continue with an unwilling employer [Minister Sinckler], which is a recipe for disaster,” the senior lawyer said.
The same point was forcefully made by a senior Central Bank official earlier Wednesday, who told Barbados TODAY he simply could not understand how the Governor expects to remain in the job.
“How is it going to work? How are you going to have a guy advising you, whose advise you don’t want?” the official asked, suggesting that the writing was already on the wall and that while the Governor may have won another injunction today, eventually he would have to go.
In that case, the official, who did not want to be named, said the Governor’s contract speaks to six months compensation, meaning that he was not about to leave empty handed.