The New Today

Letters

Bad treatment from NLA

Dear fellow Grenadians, I very much would like to appeal to your good conscience as citizens of the tri-island state as it pertains to the NLA saga involving Mr. Jerome DeRoche popularly known as Stew Man, to give of your support in an ongoing media campaign to seek government’s launching of a thorough investigation into this matter.

Many would have heard about this heart-wrenching saga whereby the gentleman squarely won the Super6 Jackpot of $540,000 in 2017, but was unfortunately denied such winnings.

It is a situation that got complex for several reasons, the first being the gentleman was led to believe his ticket was for another drawing, which was later cleared up by NLA personnel that it was, in fact, the ticket for the intended typical Friday drawing held the subsequent Saturday due to inclement weather in one of the Super6 jurisdictions, i.e., a sister OECS island.

A re-printing of the ticket supposedly would have been the resolution to the issue, granted the original presented ticket was discarded as a result of the false information and resultant confusion.

However, that promise of the re-printing of the ticket was not kept by NLA, after dragging their feet about the issue for a considerable period. When they eventually decided to authorise the re-printing, and the gentleman then visited the pharmacy in Grenville where it was purchased, both him and the owner of the establishment were disheartened to the realisation that their aim to have the ticket re-printed is futile.

An NLA-authorised technician was present at the said establishment to basically reset the machine that is used for issuing tickets thus preventing access to old records on the machine.

A spirited case was brought to the High Court by the victim and his lawyer, Mr. Ruggles Ferguson, and they won that case against NLA in 2021. NLA was ordered by the court to pay out the $540,000 to the plaintiff with interest for the time elapsed at varied rates of 3% and 6% to correspond to sub-periods if you will.

Instead of NLA honouring the High Court’s ruling, it filed an appeal. Their defensive argument for doing so is that NLA is a bearer-of-instrument gaming entity, and that a winning ticket is basically still elusive or outstanding.

In other words, there is no materialisation of that critical instrument in the final analysis (i.e the allotted 90-day window): the winning ticket. And guess what? NLA won that case, resulting in the overturning of the High Court’s ruling in late 2022.

There is still the option to take the case to the Privy Council in the UK as a last resort, and such is under consideration by the victim and his lawyer. This requires a great deal of financial resources and of course time.

My take, and I am hoping to convince you and others of the same, is that pressure be placed on both the NLA and government to do the right thing.

The emphasis has to be with the government to launch a thorough investigation for malfeasance as it relates to this rather complex issue.

The public’s trust was obviously breached in the manner in which Mr. DeRoche was treated and ultimately denied his winnings. That is a serious concern for all citizens of the state.

Thus, to ensure that such a vital process with the launching of an investigation is undertaken, we, members of the public (citizens at large), need to heed the call to demonstrate a level of selflessness and togetherness that will stem such mistreatment.

We simply can’t allow a citizen to be treated by a statutory body in that light. It is unconscionable what transpired in this saga. How is it deemed worthwhile for NLA to have gone the lengths it did to deny a humble citizen his winnings?

I appeal to you fellow citizens of Grenada to take a stand for what is right and proper. Help circulate the prepared posters for this campaign, as well as this open letter. Thank you!

Yao Atunwa