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Government will pay off ten million dollars in settlement to Glenn Godfrey

The Government of Belize is settling with Glenn Godfrey as it pertains to a Master Lease Agreement over equipment leased by the failed enterprise International Telecommunications Limited (Intelco) to the then Musa administration. The story goes back to December 2002 when Godfrey signed the agreement with the then Minister of Budget Management, Investment and Home Affairs, Ralph Fonseca. When the Barrow administration took over, it honored the lease but in 2012 there was trouble over rent. Godfrey formed Glenn D Acquisitions, LLC, and sued the Government in US Courts for over ten million dollars in unpaid rent for the Intelco equipment. Government, following several court sessions, lost and on November 15 this year, GDG and GOB entered into a Conditional Settlement Agreement. The Government has to pay Godfrey 2.5 million US dollars. At today’s Sitting of the House of Representatives, the Government passed a bill for the settlement. Prime Minister Barrow detailed some of the terms under the Master Lease Agreement.

Honorable Prime Minister Dean Barrow: “That master lease agreement signed between Glenn Godfrey and the then administration in fact by Ralph Henry Fonseca was so absolutely and outrageously one sided that although initially we had one on some sort of technicality our Lawyers are saying on the merits you can’t escape, we are going to suggest that you were talking about red lights and inside lanes, although I said that we are going to suggest that this stinks to high heaven but the fact is that Ralph Henry Fonseca being as we all thought at the time at least legally of sound mind and judgment on behalf of the administration presumably with the Authority of Cabinet signed this one sided lease and Government is bound by the terms. The suite was launched and we at that time checked, it appears that the equipment, there were several schedules to the lease covering different bits of equipment. It appears that under one of those schedules the equipment listed was never ever delivered to the Government of Belize, thats point one but because of the terms of the lease that could not serve since that lease made clear that intently it was relieved, was excused from any obligation whatsoever under the lease. Any obligation of the sort that is not just expected and usual but obligatory with respect to commercial understanding. The Government agree that we accept this equipment and if it turns out that it is useless, that it is utterly and absolutely rubbish, a piece of junk, we agree that there will and can be no recourse against the man who sold us this absolute junk. No representation and a disclaimer of any liability with respect to fitness for purpose, the design condition or quality of the equipment, capacity or workmanship, the conformity of equipment to any law, rule regulation so if it was something that violated every last law in Belize the Government said that is fine you Mr. Godfrey will simply collect your money and we will have no recourse against you whatsoever.

And what does the opposition have to say. Well, there was absolutely no objection or query on their behalf today in the House.

Honorable Prime Minister Dean Barrow: “I was surprised but pleasantly so because I thought here it is that finally those on the other side are by their silence indicating their disapproval, displeasure, disgust at what happened with that particular transaction.

The settlement will be paid no later than December 14 this year.