Lawyer battles for WB road

| 07/11/2014

(CNS): Anthony Akiwumi battled for several hours on Wednesday to keep alive hopes that the West Bay Road could be reclaimed for the people of Cayman. Grilled by a panel of three judges during an appeal hearing the local attorney argued that the timeline technicality that had seen the legal action filed by four West Bay ladies rejected in the lower court before the merits of the case were considered, was wrong. He said the judge shouldn’t have begun his calculation on the date that the NRA agreement was signed in December 2011 as that was a closed door –deal the details of which were not made public until after road was formally closed.

Given the clandestine nature of the entire deal government made with Dart and the lack of a clear starting point the lawyer argued it was unfair of the courts not to consider their case on its merits.

The women represent a much wider group of local people that believe the manner in which the government, at the time, entered into an agreement to close theroad was wrong. They say that at the very least there should have been public consultation as this historic road had been in use formally for at least two generations and there is historical evidence that it was used asa public highway for over 100 years.

While not taking issue with the construction of the by-pass or the development of the hotel or other property, their position is that the road should not have been closed and that other measures could have been adopted to link the new hotel to the beach.

The legal action the woman took in the courts, on numerous grounds, was however, rejected on the basis that the judge took the view that the decision that the woman are taking action actions was the NRA deal signed in December 2011 so when they filed their action in February 2013 they were out of time.

However, they have argued that it is not possible to use December as a starting point as the deal at that point was believed to be contingent on other factors not least the value for money report by PWC. And more importantly no one had seen the document to know exactly what the terms of the deal were.

The appeal court heard that government was legally bound by the agreement from the get go. While it could have withdrawn from the agreement during the review period it would have been obligated to Dart to cover all of its costs. But once the review period was over government was locked in despite that the value for money report or the deal itself had been made public. The ladies found themselves between a rock and a hard place during the appeal, as the panel of judges pressed Akiwumi to say what was the trigger point for the poor government decision that they say has breached their rights, if not December 2011, as it had not been spelt out in the pleadings.

The local attorney was also forced to argue the crown’s appeal against the findings by the court that the ladies could bring the action as they did as oppose to a judicial review pointing to the specific and rather unique sections of the Cayman Islands constitution that convey government with a responsibility to act fairly and lawfully in its actions which goes beyond the rights of the public to challenge government decisions via judicial review.

The arguments between the parties over the technicalities of the women’s case rather than the merits took more than five hours and the panel said it would reserve its decision until 21 November at the end of the winter court of appeal session.

Should the decision be in the ladies favour they will be given the chance to press the merits of their case in the Grand Court. If not having funded this appeal action with their own resources and donations it may now be the end of the road.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Interesting to see the peasant mentality as demonstrated by the consistent subservient comments of the Dart "supporters".  Easily are they stepped over and done away with like all good peasants.  Little do they know or accept the consequences of their misplaced vitriol and blind stupidity.

  2. Anonyanmous says:

    Very interesting case reminds me of David vs. Goliath, just wondering out loud if the result will be the same.

    • Anonymous says:

      Goliath did not stand a chance given he was a hand to hand specialist taking on an artillery specialist.

  3. Anonyanmous says:

    Dart will win, not to worry he did it against Yuko,Argentinand Brazil just a few, read and lea   Cayman should just forget the road and move on.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well typical just typical you lost and you just can't give in. Lets try and see if you can understand .The road is STILL there that your Great grandfather down to you walked on. YOU can still walk on that same road nothing has changed. 

    You can't drive on the road but you can still walk on the same road ,only now you all are safe.So stop , just stop you all are embarrassing the rest of us Caymanians.

  5. Anonymous says:

    We as caymanians need to stand up for our rights to be honest I am happy to know that these ladies are taking some action why must we as caymanians can't drive to town overlooking out beach? We can't even get some sea breeze no we must drive on that tar road with the sun beating down own us right! Isn't this foreigner getting enough revenue from caymana bay? God knows all McKeeva did for this island is pack this rock up with nowhereians and sell out our island mess u mean to tell me the public road he gone sell no way 

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so sad with your thinking years ago that beach was swamp that was filled by the people you sold the land to for money It wasnt your beach ever.

      Mckeeva did not sell out your island all he did was give freedom to the slaves that helped build this little rock the only ones upset are the former slave owners and those that now have to share the govt teet

      those ladies are a shameful bunch wasting the courts time they should have to pay for their  foolishness out of their own pockets

      • Anonymous says:

        You are so sad , give  me your address and i will send you atlease 10 pounds of brain and hope that will take you out of that fog you are liveing in .

        • Anonymous says:

          From the way you post, I don't suspect you have any brains to spare.

      • Anon says:

        "That beach was swamp"?? Are u nuts? When did you appear on the scene?  

  6. Anonymous says:

    What does eveyone expect to happen if they win. I assume the plan would be to remove the Public Beach area and park then rebuild West Bay Road and the public baech that way it was before. Is it expected that the goverment would have to pay dart for the money spent building the new road or does everyone think he should forfit that money ?

    • Peanuts says:

      The "Hiway" was to open up the landlock or hard to get to acreage he own's. This has increased the value of his holdings. We got very little from the "Deal"

    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      No, if they win they then get to fight the legal action to question whether the deal can be overturned.  That will be massively expensive exercise  -hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in legal fees.   And if the ladies qualify for legal aid again, we get to front those costs, and if Dart with his unlimited financial and legal resources wins, we get to pay his costs as well as theirs.  If the ladies win, we recover a lot but not all of the costs, but then Dart has to be compensated for the cost of the road, tens of millions of dollars we do not have.  A wonderful outcome for the taxpayer either way. 

  7. Anonymous says:

    CNS, for crying out loud, is there any way you can filter out these Dart stooge idiots from inputing from lord knows where around the globe? it's ridiculous Are they paid or what?!

    • Anonymous says:

      Then we wouldn't have free speech. Careful what you wish for.

    • Anonymous says:

      EXACTLY!!!! What is even more pathetic is most of them are NOT paid. Sad, sad, sad.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Can't any one figure out that Mr. Dart is putting food on the tables of these "ladies" from Westbay. Mr. Dart only did what every developer has always done on this island negotiate the best deal for him. But in Mr. Darts defense he lives here and as we can all see his work is way better than any government has ever done. Leave the man along and watch Cayman grow.

    • jonas dwyer says:

      We may be in for a surprise 

    • Anonymous says:

      So you believe that Dart lives in Grand Cayman – when do you ever seenhim?



      • YOLO says:

        Good point. Alden went to he house for dinner one time and old Ken didn’t even show up. Now you know that didn’t go down well with the Crewe Road crew!

    • Anonymous says:

      07:55  you must think you are  one of the big men in the group , for you to say leave the man( along ) . If you leave a developer   alone , they will do things that smart people dont like , the 4 West Bay  LADIES see that leaveing them alone doing deals behind closed doors  is WRONG .  Leaveing him alone , soon you will have a new premier for Cayman Islands .

      • Anonymous says:

        He has lived in cayman since the mid 90's and has been buying up cayman parcel by parcel since then in a well thought out and structured plan. Did u think the by pass in the late 90's was out of the goodness of his heart?

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you from here by any chance? Or isn't  that important any more?

  9. RP says:

    Ladies! It's over! Please step forward into 21st century.

    • Anonymous says:

      Even stepping into the 20th century would be progress.  The cretaceous is so yesterday.

      • Anonymous says:

        12:14. And prejudice pre dates that ,and is still strong as you demonstrate.

  10. Voice of Reason says:

    Let us bulldoze the beach and children's play area and build a road. Hurrah!

  11. Anonymous says:

    I sincerely hope these ladies lose this nonsensical action. They represent the dinosaur secction of our society which wants to live in the past and the rest of us, certainly we younger Caymanians, want to move forward and experience the benefits (along with the drawbacks it is accepted) of new things.

    • Anonymous says:

      …and follow the invisible "Pied Piper"?

      Dart has you brainwashed!

      One day you will awake, but it will be too late.


    • Anonymous says:

      Speaking as a young Caymanian, let me inform you that you do not represent my opinion on the subject.

      In addition there are many other young Camanians who do not agree with your opinion but they believe that with the leaders we have it is useless to speak out on any of the issues destroying our islands because they only do what is in their best personal interests, caring not for future generations of Caymanians. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Boom!   You just got kicked out of the tribe.  No more freebees for you.  But now you have what they never will.  Self respect.

    • Anonymous says:

      "we younger Caymanians"? Pull the other one, pal. Where you posting from, New Jersey?!!

      • Anonymous says:

        No, 3:37, the Savannah/Bodden Town political district, actually. Clearly you do not have the brain to see that there are younger Caymanians who do not blindly hate Dart and/or all new development. And by the way, "pull the other one, pal" does not sound very Caymanian to me. Have you been influenced by all the UK people you have been mixing with?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Leave the d*mn road alone, its actually pretty nice and the beach was quiet and you can get to work quicker which means 20 mins more of sleep for me… Win win situation

    • Anonymous says:

      But don't you feel culturally damaged by the loss of a poor quality road to drive slowly along at morning and night?

      • Anonymous says:

             04:08.Your sarcasm says a lot about you.If you were not so culturally damaged (biased ),I might try to explain the loss of the road to you.Unfortunately you have been brainwashed in to believing that anything different from your own culture ,is inferior,and I am just not equipped to re educate you.

        • Anonymous says:

          I am very open minded.  Do please explain the cultural significance of this piece of road.  The more detail the better.  It will help me to understand.

          • Anonymous says:

            The property is not belong to one man , to make a deal with ALONE behind closed doors ..

          • Anonymous says:

            13:30, I bet you do not get a sensible answer to your post because when you challenge them to explain "culture" and "heritage" they cannot do it -all they can do is rant against furriners and paper Caymanians who do not respect these things that they cannot describe and never defend by defining them.

          • Anonymous says:

            The deafening sound of silence.

        • Anonymous says:

          I doubt I can be educated as to culture by someone who cannot use commas correctly.

        • Anonymous says:

          Could someone please explain to me, a humble person, what on earth a road has to do with culture.  Just asking!

  13. Anonymous says:

    it's not the same drivingto West Bay anymore.  When i come to the Island I want to feel like I'm on an Island…not in Miami.  Stop selling yourself, Cayman!

    • B.N. Onneste says:

      I know what you mean.  We aren't selling ourselves.  It's our greedy politicians.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is not the "greedy politicians" that is the problem.

        "Greedy Politians" are like cockroches – everywhere, you can not wipe them out.

        What is the problem is that Caymanians have allowed themselves to be Brainwashed by Dart to make them believe that Dart is some modern day God  – their only saviour. 

        Caymanians the worst sort of slavery is volutarily allowing yourselves to be "Brain Enslaved Vountarily" by Dart – some of you do not even realize what is happening to you.   

        Then there are other Caymaians who know what is happening but they have cheaply sold their soul to the devil to lead you astray. 

        I wish the ladies success in what they are doing for the Cayman Islands, they have more backbone courage than most Caymanian men.

        • Anonymous says:

          You have to love Caymanians, no personal responsibility whatsoever, it is always somebody elses fault, either Expats, Dart, Jamaicans, FIlipinos or status grants.

          • Anonymous says:

            You evidently have a reading comprehension problem:

            "What is the problem is that Caymanians have allowed themselves to be Brainwashed by Dart to make them believe that Dart is some modern day God – their only saviour.

            Caymanians the worst sort of slavery is volutarily allowing yourselves to be "Brain Enslaved Vountarily" by Dart – some of you do not even realize what is happening to you.

            Then there are other Caymaians who know what is happening but they have cheaply sold their soul to the devil to lead you astray".

            The post clearly identifies the responsibility of Caymanians in all of this.



    • Anonymous says:

      So the country should stand still and not develop so that you can have your vacations the way you like? You want an entire country to stand still so that Cayman can always be the way you remember it? Are you really that selfish? 

      Stay on East end if you want. Development provides jobs and growth for the economy. I can't believe you would suggest sacrificing that to appease your mental image of what an island looks like. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow!  Are you really that crazy?  First of all, building hotels is only for one thing – to welcome visitors to the island who come because of the fact that Cayman is Cayman.  Secondly, development is not an end in itself – those jobs only exist for a limited period of time.  Once the development is complete the jobs available are, again, created to welcome guests and provide customer service for our visitors in restaurants, bars and retail.  By criticising someone who visits our island for wanting to visit a Cayman where they get to see the sea (imagine that!) you are simply deterring the very reason the development goes ahead.  If you really want visitors who want to stay on an island to stay away or stay in East End then what's the point of all this development on WB Road?

    • no matter says:

      Vacation in the Brac…


    • Anonymous says:

      Whatever people's opinions are of the road or deal is, this is just silly.  If you really want to, you can drive a short way on the highway, which is not a bit like a Miami highway, turn left down Raleigh Quay and still drive on the old road to miss the few hundred feet to the roundabout you'd have to drive on otherwise.  I can't imagine they can close the rest as there are houses, but if they were to, it's still not far you'd have to drive on the highway before you're back on West Bay road.

      • Anonymous says:

        Unfortunately you are WRONG. The closure of the "rest" and the loss of the beach access is one of the main point of the case. As the "deal" was already signed, Government (us) are effectively committed to closing the section from Raliegh Quay to the Salt Creek roundabout. All that can be done is to hold out on the closure in the hope to squeeze a better deal with more provided to the country. Maybe, just maybe, the closure of the "rest" could be prevented in the ongoing negotiations.

    • Anonymous says:

      Miami? There are more cars at Miami airport than there are people and cars together in Cayman, and the driving standard is substantially better too. Maybe Miami is not so bad after all?

  14. B. Hurlstone says:

    It is terrible when a robber baron and government officials collude to further their own interests at the expense of the people!

  15. Anonymous says:

    I hope the appeal court shuts the door on this case once and for all.  Put the WB Ladies out of their misery and save everyone a lot of money.

    • Anonymous says:

      We can all live in hope. I hope yours isn't realised. (What's the weather like in your state?)

  16. You can't fix stupid says:

    Here we go again, there will be no winner in this case. If the road gets reopened Cayman will owe millions of dollars to the developer, where's that money going to come from? If the developer wins, who's going to pay the court fees etc.?

    • Anonymous says:

      "will owe millions…." Not if the deal is judged to have been illegal.

      • Anonymous says:

        I was passed by the government, it was not illegal. If the court breaks the deal the government will owe Dart millions.

        • Anonymous says:

          Okay, so Nazi German laws were legal, right?

        • Anonymous says:

          I was passed by the Govererment , that is the reason you cannot see further than the tip of your nose .  Did Dart deliver you ?  ( It was not  illegal ) if you make a deal with property that is not yours behind closed doors .  What would that make the deal to be ?  I hate to go so low .

        • Anonymous says:

          A government that knows billions have gone missing and appears to be doing nothing about it will not be bothered by having to pay millions.

      • Anonymous says:

        So noone will pay for the highway extension? Or Dart will take ownership and still let the public use it for free? Does noone think of the repercussions of their peers nonsensical actions.

    • Anonymous says:

      There will be winners – the lawyers who are being paid to handle his action. Why are they encouraging this group to carry on with a claim that is, and always has been, a complete non-starter?  

  17. Anonymous says:

    Why are we still doing this. Why don't these ladies focus on cost of living or gas prices this is a done deal!