AXED: Dr Sands denied nomination as PM cleans house
Dr Duane Sands’ bid for re-election as the incumbent in the Elizabeth Estates constituency will come to an end tonight.
Although Dr Sands and his team have been actively campaigning, The Gallery can reveal that the FNM Council intends to axe the controversial political figure from its slate of candidates in the upcoming general election.
Dr Sands was forced to quit as Minister of Health last May after he admitted that he accepted a bribe from six permanent residents.
While hundreds of Bahamians were stuck abroad after the Competent Authority closed the country’s borders, Dr Sands pulled strings for the permanent residents to enter the country in exchange for 2,600 COVID-19 tests.
Before his resignation, Dr Sands was condemned by Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt in 2019 for his conduct in the Frank Smith corruption trial.
According to the evidence, Dr Sands coaxed Smith’s accuser Barbara Hanna into making a complaint. Hanna was also a donor to Dr Sands’ campaign.
Just days before Hanna took the witness stand against Smith, Dr Sands gave Hanna’s cleaning company a $1.9 million contract to clean the Princess Margaret Hospital. This contract was triple the value of the contract that Hanna won when Smith headed the Public Hospital Authority.
The government didn’t renew Hanna’s contract after the court dismissed the trumped up bribery case.
The Chief Magistrate said the then-minister’s actions appeared to be a “political favour.”
The governing party has also dumped former Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest.
He was forced to quit after being accused of fraud in a multimillion dollar lawsuit by a former business partner.