Political leader of the United Progressive Party has said the process used to approve the more than 800 passports under the Citizen by Investment Programme is illegal and the party intends to challenge it.
“We are going to do what we have to do in order to bring this thing fully to light and to ensure what has to be done, is done,” Harold Lovell, who is also leader of the opposition in the Senate, said in his Budget presentation, yesterday.
Lovell said the government failed to follow the law which requires a board be set up to oversee the operations of the economic citizenship programme.
“I am putting all persons who have had any transaction with the CIP Unit on notice that they have been operating unlawfully without the benefit of a board which was set up by statute. They must understand that all they have done is illegal,” Lovell said yesterday.
He alleged the government has failed to conduct the programme in accordance with the Regulations that were to take effect from September 2014.
The senator said all transactions after this date are null and void.
Lovell said the Cabinet is doing the work that the law specifies should be done by the board.
“They will probably come back to parliament and say whatever was done they make it legal. The point is that those persons who have come to Antigua in good faith thinking that this is a country that is properly run, set up a board and never put it in place, you have instead Cabinet doing as they like, failing to account under the CIP Act,” he declared.
Lovell noted, too, that the government has also failed to provide the bi-annual reports of the CIP which are stipulated in the Act.
He added the government has been in office for almost two years and they have failed to tell the public how much money has been placed in the National Development Fund.