Embattled Minister Robert Montaque Resigned following Integrity Commission Report

March 14, 2022 | By Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie |

PM Andrew Michael Holness of Jamaica, has moved swiftly within 48 hours of a report from the Integrity Commission on allegations of corruption at the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA). This firearm license body has been under public scrutiny and fire regarding the issuance of gun permits to persons of alleged questionable conduct. This period was from 2014 to 2018. The Integrity Commission Report has taken six (6) years to be produced.

Ministers Fingered

Former National Security Ministers Peter Bunting and Robert Montague have been fingered as having on appeal approved licenses which have originally been rejected. The law gives the minister discretionary powers. The Ministers therefore, did not act illegally. What may be under scrutiny is their judgement. Those decisions can be more subjective than objective. These Ministers have all the facts, it should be noted.

Review Panel

The Ministers in question have advisors who review these appeals. Whether the Minister’s listen to their advisors or the review panel is not immediately known. The resignation of Minister Montague of the JLP has sent shock waves through the Jamaican society. Montaque is also a MP and chairman of the JLP.

Peter Bunting

Speaking on radio today Peter Bunting has said he acted properly and do not plan to resign. The PNP Leader Hon. Mark Golding has said he stands by Peter Bunting whom he said inter alia:

“Peter Bunting acted under the law based on the discretion the law allowed him to do. The cases which have been mentioned do not arise to an abuse of ministerial authority. In one such case the criminal record was expunged. In four years Minister Bunting approved many cases without any issues. Only two are being questioned.”

So argued Hon. Mark Golding, a close friend and trusted associate of Bunting.

Dennis Meadows Resigned

Also the disgraced former Vice Chair of the FLA has also resigned from all government boards to clear his name. He said inter alia:

“My integrity is very important to me and my family. I acted well”

So asserted the embattled Former FLA Vice Chair who has been accused and admitted to the charge of Nepotism for granting a firearm permit to his brother in law.

“I should have recused myself from that application that was originally rejected. My brother in law had committed criminal offences in the United States Of America and subsequently deported to Jamaica”

“This information was disclosed by me (Dennis Meadows) to the FLA Board”

So stated Dennis Meadows in his defence.


It has been reported that some 200 such licenses were found to have been questionably been issued after review. This is unfortunate to say the least, especially in a society plagued with gun crimes. The gun is featured in more than 60 percent in many of these cases.

Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is a poet, elegist, author and senior international journalist who writes for Vision newspaper.

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