Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler Sunday night sought to make it clear to Nigerian businessman Benedict Peters and Barbados Labour Party (BLP) leader Mia Mottley that they would have to “kill” him in order to silence him in Barbados.
“Nobody from Sandy Lane or who born up in Sandy Lane could frighten anybody from Black Rock,” Sinckler warned Mottley during the Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) meeting at Carlisle House car park, The City.
Responding to a pre-action protocol letter issued by Leslie Haynes, QC, on behalf of the African billionaire, who is threatening to sue Sinckler over charges he made on the political platform last week, the St Michael North West candidate also said:
“Let me tell Mr Peters and Mr Leslie Haynes that there is nobody from Nigeria that can silence Chris Sinckler in Barbados. Can’t happen! I born here. My navel string buried here and nobody gine come from Nigeria and try to bully me into silence in Barbados. They would have to kill me first! Can’t happen!” he said before tearing up a copy of the legal document sent to him by Peters’ attorney.
“Tell Mr Peters and them, this is Democratic Labour Party territory and we are not allowing them to silence us, because we have to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” he said to rousing applause from the large gathering of DLP supporters who had converged on the old stomping ground of the BLP.
It was during the official launch of the DLP’s campaign for the May 24 general election a week ago that Sinckler had charged that Peters had held talks with members of the BLP and had called on Mottley to come clean on the matter, while making veiled references to Boko Haram.
However, Mottley has not budged.
But while suggesting that “there was more than one way to skin a cat”, Sinckler on Sunday pointed out that in the legal letter, the billionaire had actually confirmed that he had met with the Opposition Leader “Ms Mottley [in the Prime Minister’s suite at the Hilton Barbados Resort] while on a family vacation in Barbados and the two discussed global affairs and investment opportunities in Barbados and the wider Caribbean”.
In response to this, Sinckler questioned why, based on his stated interests, Peters had not met with the Prime Minister and other senior Cabinet ministers, including himself as Minister of Finance.
However, Peters, through his attorney, said that “since that meeting, back in September of 2016, he has not met with or had any contact with Ms. Mottley or any member of the Barbados Labour Party.
“Indeed, he does not today have a phone number, email address nor other direct contact information for Ms Mottley or any member of the leadership of the BLP, and, has definitely not contributed, in cash or kind, to the campaign of the BLP, neither before nor since that meeting in September 2016.
“I call upon you on or before 15 May 2018, to withdraw and retract the defamatory statements and their imputations made by you and apologize to my client in terms to be approved by me, for your defamation of him. If you do not comply with the demands in the preceding paragraph, please be advised that my client will forthwith take such action against you as he may be advised including commencing proceedings in the High Court of Barbados for damages, an injunction and legal costs. In the meantime, my client reserves all his rights in this matter,” the letter added.
Peters also denied any links with Boko Haram, the notoriously renowned Islamic terrorist organization.
“In their natural, ordinary and innuendo meanings, your words mean and were understood to mean that – (a) my client is seeking improperly to influence the outcome of the 2018 general elections; (b) he is providing large sums of money to the Barbados Labour Party for the purpose of influencing the outcome of the said elections; (c) he is associated with a terrorist organization; (d) he is a criminal or has criminal propensities and/or is associated with Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist organization that kidnaps school girls; (e) he is anti-democracy and is prepared to use his money for the improper purpose of influencing the outcome of elections. The words used by you are completely false, baseless and malicious.
“They constitute a serious and grave defamation of my client personally and professionally. They have caused my client great hurt, distress and international embarrassment. My client has never contributed or offered to contribute money to the Barbados Labour Party, its leader Ms. Mia Mottley or any political or other organization in Barbados,” the letter from Peters also states.
Attached is the document here