(CHARLESTOWN NEVIS)- According to an article published in the Leeward Times newspaper, a lawsuit has been filed against the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) led Nevis Island Administration (NIA) at the Nevis High Court for failing to pay a former Junior Minister of Government his gratuity.
The suit was brought by the claimant, former Minister for Trade, Industry and Commerce Mr. Dwight Cozier against the Nevis Island Administration (1st Defendant); Vance Amory, Premier and Minister of Finance (2nd Defendant); Laurie Lawrence, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance (3rd Defendant); Colin Dore, Treasurer (4th Defendant); and the Attorney General of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis (5th Defendant).
These persons are being sued for non-payment of the amount of EC$117,026.55, the remainder of the gratuity the claimant earned during his period of service as a legislator in the Nevis Island Assembly from the July 24, 2006 to January 22, 2013.
The alleged defendants are also being sued for damages for breach of contract amongst others allegations. The suit detailed that the claimant served as Junior Minister for a period of 78 contributory months, entitling him to be considered as a contributor under section 3 of the Legislator’s Pension Act, thus qualifying him for gratuity equal to 20 per centum of the total allowance which he received during his period.
According to the suit on June 7, 2013, five months after the change of government from the administration of the Nevis Reformation Party to the administration of the Concerned Citizens Movement, the claimant personally served a letter of retirement on the alleged 3rd defendant the financial secretary of the 1st defendant.
The suit further stated that through the alleged actions of its Minister, the 2nd defendant has refused to pay the gratuity due to the claimant under section 8 of the Legislator’s Pensions Acts 22.05 of the revised Laws of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis when it was authorized for payment on the 25th of June 2013.
It was noted that payment was demanded by the claimant on the 4th of July and the 12th of July 2013 repeatedly by telephone calls and letter dated the 29th of July 2013.