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INCHR’s Entangled Leadership Fight Deepens -As Commissioner Allison, ED Pour Clash

By Bill W. Cooper

Normal working activities at the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) came to a standstill on Wednesday following heated verbal exchanges between two senior officials of the Commission.

The Commission’s Executive Director, Urias Pour and Commissioner Pindarous Allison, in a recording which is in the possession of this paper were heard using some invectives at each other during an impromptu meeting arranged by the secretariat between the Commission’s chairperson, Cllr. Dempster Brown and staff.

According to information, the actions by the two senior human rights officials did not only stall the normal working activities at the Commission but also brought an abrupt end to an impromptu meeting between the staff and the chairperson.

But in response to the incident, the Commission’s Executive Director, Urias Pour expressed his dissatisfaction in Commissioner Allison’s behavior to abruptly disrupt the meeting which he said intended to welcome and outline the Commission’s plans for 2023, thus describing Allison’s action as ‘unfortunate.’

He said, “As the ED of the Commission, it is my responsibility to call for a meeting between the staff and the chairperson, and I do not need to inform any commissioner to do such because Article 12.2,3 and 4 of the INCHR Act gives the right to do so.”

Article 12.2,3 and 4 of the INCHR Act among other things calls for the Executive Director to manage and control generally the staff, management, business of the Commission, as well as to ensure the implementation of the Commission’s policies and to also serve as liaison between the Chairperson and Commissioners and the employees among others.

According to him, while the meeting presided over by the Commission Chairperson was ongoing, Commissioner Allison then interrupted on grounds that he had some observation, noting, “But he was told by Chairperson Brown that said gathering was not the place for such but he couldn’t listen and began to overreact.”

“So, it was based on his outburst I then intervened but he could not listen and began to rain insult on the person of all of the employees and because of his action, we could not continue with the meeting,” he stated.

“And frankly, I need not to inform him about this meeting because it is not a Board or general meeting but an acquaintance meeting for the staff and the chairperson and this meeting was just meant to encourage and welcome the staff back to work,” he asserted.

Meanwhile when contacted, Commissioner Pindarous Allison who denied some of the allegations levied against his person also expressed his dissatisfaction over the ED Pour’s decision not to inform them as commissioners about the meeting which he said could have given all of them the opportunity to understand and know the reason for the meeting.

He explained, “But unfortunately, this meeting was not in any way to share with the board of commissioners in total disregard and disrespect to us as commissioners but only saw it in our group’s chart that the ED Pour had called for meeting.”

 “When the meeting was called to order, and the chairperson was about to speak, I then called for an inquiry in order for me to understand as to what was obtaining in terms of the composition of the sitting but was never addressed due to Pour’s actions,” he said.

“So, the moment I asked the chair, Pour immediately began interrupting my thoughts and started using all kinds of invectives against my person and more disrespectfully, it was done in the presence of the staff, which is complete disrespectful and unacceptable,” he noted.

Commissioner Allison further, “And more to that, the moment I tried to tell him about his disrespectful attitude, Pour right away began raining all kinds of insults on me only because I mentioned that he was being too frisky.”

“And to be honest, Pour was too disrespectful and rude to my office as a commissioner of this Commission this morning. I don’t know his reason for such disrespect, but I believe the Board will call for a meeting and subsequent action will be taken,” he added.

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