People’s Campaign advocate, the Reverend Nicholas Tweed is back in the pulpit at St Paul AME Church on Sunday, for the first time since January, following the work permit debacle orchestrated by former Minister of Home Affairs Patricia Gordon-Pamplin.
Speaking with Bermuda Real this morning, Rev Tweed said he was “glad it’s over”. He was informed by the Chief Immigration Officer via email on Friday, that the Department of Immigration has “affirmed the judicial review ruling” handed down by Chief Justice Ian Kawaley.
Justice Kawaley quashed Ms Gordon-Pamplin’s order that Rev Tweed should settle his affairs and leave Bermuda last month. In the ruling handed down in June, he said the former Minister’s order “breached the rules of natural justice”. He also quashed her decision to refuse the AME Church an advertising waiver and a work permit.
The Chief Justice also attached the costs of this case to the Crown, which means that taxpayers will bear the costs to be paid out of the public purse.
Asked for his reaction now that there is a bottom line on his legal challenge, Rev Tweed said: “It should have never gotten this far. The Minister was the front person but we know that it was political.”
When the judicial review ruling was handed down, he emerged from the building to be greeted by a round of applause following what he termed “a momentary victory in a battle of a war that is not over”.
Speaking on live radio after the ruling he said: “Enough information has come out now that people can see clearly what they could not see before. I hope all of the people in Government now own what they did.
“I hope that our people have been paying attention because for the past four years our Black leaders have been systematically targeted.”
Rev Tweed also thanked members of the public “who came out in support”, union colleagues, lawyer Delroy Duncan “whose legal acumen brought us to this”, and the officers and members of St Paul AME, “who have been deprived from the pulpit”.
When asked by Bermuda Real if his sermon is ready now that he’s cleared to return to the pulpit for the first time since the first Sunday in January, Rev Tweed said: “I’m always ready!”
And there’s no doubt the 500-strong congregation of St Paul AME Church are more than ready to hear their pastor’s first sermon in six months, in what is expected to be a packed church on Sunday morning.