Member of Parliament for South Leeward Nigel “Nature” Stephenson. (IWN file photo)

Member of Parliament for South Leeward, Nigel “Nature” Stephenson, an opposition lawmaker, has admitted to I-Witness News that he has been driving since 2010, a vehicle he knew to be unlicensed.

Stephenson told I-Witness News on Friday that he obtained the vehicle in 2009 from a used car dealer and has since paid EC$20,000 in instalments.

“The first time I bought the vehicle, it came as if it was already [licensed]. All that was done and, like the licence, everything was in place. But it was a year after, when I tried to go to get the documents to do it my own self I couldn’t get the documents,” Stephenson said.

“I infringed, I took a chance, I am not proud of it, but I just couldn’t rest down the vehicle. Several times, I asked for the documents and I was told [by the dealer] ‘License it in my name’. I really didn’t want to do that.

“I have no legitimate way of doing it. I didn’t get the document. I took a chance, it is not something that I am really not proud of,” Stephenson told I-Witness News.

The former teacher, who was elected to Parliament in December 2010, said that the vehicle has developed mechanical problems and has been off the road for about a month.

“So, in any event, I am not driving the vehicle,” he said, adding that he plans to try to sort out the problem as soon as possible.

The situation became public when Minister of Transport, Sen. Julian Francis, disclosed in Parliament in December that an opposition Member of Parliament has been driving an unlicensed vehicle since 2009.

Francis, however, did not name the MP.

“There are persons in this country who, on a daily basis, deliberately defy the government of revenue. Deliberately! And very serious, high-placed individuals; there are persons who drive their motorcars, Mr. Speaker, for months, for years, without licencing it,” he said during the debate on the Estimates of Income and Expenditure for 2015.

He referred the accident in Clare Valley where former Unity Labour Party supporter Edgar Cruickshank died on Dec. 6, 2014, after an unlicensed car crashed into the meeting.

“People are not paying their licence,” Francis said, adding that police caught 17 unlicensed vehicles in two hours in Argyle.

“Mr. Speaker, even in this House of Parliament, you have members who ain’t doing that. Even in this Parliament, from 2009 to 2014 not a single cent has been paid on their car licence and they driving it everyday,” Francis said.

In January 2010, son of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, Storm Gonsalves, then 17 years old, had to be flown overseas for medical attention after an unlicensed motorcycle he was riding collided with a passenger van.

The young Gonsalves sustained several injuries about his body and suffered internal bleeding.

25 replies on “Opposition MP admits to driving unlicensed vehicle for years”

  1. Allan H. Palmer says:

    This is just another government plan to shame another of the soon to be ruling New Democratic Party. Why Couldn’t Mr. Stephenson obtained the lawful documentation to satisfy his lawful requirement.

    Gonsalves them will do anything even demand that professional compromised their professional standards.

    To hell with Ralph Gonsalves and the bunch of them.

    Allan

  2. alan palmer u liv in usa .if d police catch u driving witout a licencewat will dey do. u have an axe to grind.reading ur comment all d time. I realize dat u r such an ass hole.i kno nature personal.u don’t.dats how d government shud funchion.he swhud b made to pay for every yr before he dat vehicle get on d road

  3. Robertson S. Henry says:

    on a matter of principle, the honourable gentleman should resign. how can he now accuse the Government or anyone for that matter of breaking the law, of behaving in an unlawful manner when he has deliberately contravene the Laws of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

    I respect he being candid and admitting to having committed a wrong, but if he wants to be respected as a man of principle, and to have some moral authority left, then he should resign from Parliament, for eveything he says will be seen as coming form someone who was elected to upload the law and provide guidance and sound leadership, is himself a law-breaker.

  4. i see progress says:

    allan you are so bias and blind ,poor you , you , peter and luzette are all enemies of st vincent . dunsee dunsee.

  5. What do ppl like Allan Palmer see when they read?
    Why couldn’t Nature get the lawful documentation? Because He HASN’T FINSIHED PAYING FOR THE CAR!!!
    “he obtained the vehicle in 2009 from a used car dealer and has since paid EC$20,000 in instalments” Who takes five years to pay EC$20,000 on that model car? $300 a month? Ok… lol
    “I was told [by the dealer] ‘License it in my name’” Why you think the dealer said that? Because Nature hasn’t finished paying for the car, and the dealer wants his money.
    How is natutr not paying for his car part of some secret raph gonsalve plot? why do we have to make ourselves sound so idiotic?
    The man aint pay for his car… the man aint pay for his license… but Ralph Gonsalves is to blame? LMFAO

  6. Nicholas Lucas says:

    ALLAN ,what is really your conversation? here is a member of society breaking the law, You then choose to come up with a bunch of excuse, you went a step further with out a muzzle on your mouth and (TRY) to blame Ralph GONSALVES , for that member of society driving his car without licensed , are you with me so far? If the law breaker were a teacher , a Doctor , a Nurse ,or an internet crazy, would this be a conversation ?
    Now, this is the real issue here ,the said person is someone who should be making laws for all of us to followed ,he purposely ignore the laws of the land, My recommendation is he should be remove from parliament immediately ,pay all fine owe to the citizen of this Country along with a penalty and full interest , Also bar from contesting any election for a period of time, Then all others will take heed .

  7. Allan H. Palmer you are one ignorant brat. You very comment shows how foolish you are. If the member could not get his document to do the correct thing he could have gone the legal route. Suppose he had knock down someone and kill them. Make it worst he was a teacher of our kids so was he teaching them to do wrong. Making matters worst he is a member of parliament. But I must ask where was the police when he was driving around for years in an unlicensed vehicle. Due to his own admittance he should be charge and be made to pay for all the years that vehicle was unlicensed

  8. Not a good course at all ‘nature’, Jerrol and Storm smiling now. This was in the waiting for nomination day but like d ‘genuine’ ting bring it out.

  9. This was meant to be a reply to Allan H Palmer but I seem incapable of posting a reply using an Android device.
    Kenton, this may be a bug.

    Now, Mr Palmer;
    You “sir” are the worse kind of stupid!
    You are the type to stick to the party line regardless of the facts.
    You seek out conspiracy theories when things do not mirror your reality and your loyalists may be bought for a fried chicken wing.

    The man has admitted his guilt, yet you seek to defend his wrong doing?
    You sir, make me sick.

  10. Allan H. Palmer says:

    It is such a shame when people refuse to think. It is even worst when they refuse to think for themselves.
    Now here is a man who have purchased a vehicle which was handed over to him. Let us say as was suggested the he had not finished paying for the car. Doesn’t he have twenty thousand dollars of equity in that car.

    What sense does it make handing over the vehicle to the custodian if he will not be allowed to have full use of it.

    To those of you who are suggesting that the gentle man resigned. It is one thing to drive an unlicensed vehicle; on a scale form on to ten (1-10) what level of seriousness is that offence, even if he had an accident and a person lose their life in the process. (Let us not forget the Clay Valley NDP political parry accident or incident)

    Now tell me how serious is the offence that Nature “honestly” confessed to and expressed sorrow for, to the several allegations of Rape and sexual assault that was made against Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. Mainly those that was brought against him by woman police Michelle Andrews and the Vincentian Canadian Human Rights Lawyer Margaret Parsons. How is it you guys, who are calling for Natures head never saw it fit to called for Ralph E. Gonsalves resignation over such serious allocations.

    I still support my point that some where in this whole scheme I can smell the stinking political aroma all over this affair. I can also smell Gonsalves dirty hand in this thing.

    I think Nature’s actions was reasonable and understandable, although not lawful. I will also say here; his actions are the actions of a reasonable person under the condition.

    Now I will join you guys and Call for Nature to resign from the house if you all who are calling for his resignation if you all Join with me and call for Ralph E. Gonsalves’ resignation for the allegations of the Rape of Michelle Andrews and the Sexual Assault of Margaret Parsons.

    Do we have a deal. Now begin calling for Gonsalves resignation you cowards. Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

  11. The reality is that he did admit to his wrong doing, after it was brought to light by Mr, Francis. The question is, would he had admit to driving without a license if Mr. Francis did n’t brought it to light?

    The real part of the fact to me is why it took Mr. Francis so long to find out Mature was driving an unlicensed, 2009-2014? come on. This was just an investigation to defend at the shit that happen with the guy who killed the man in the accident at Clare Valley. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    People on this page keep making suggestion like, Mature should resign and other things,please. If you got your license the legal way by doing your test you will know that you can’t go to jail for driving an unlicensed Vehicle unless you got into an accident and cause damage to another or other people property. The police can only take the Vehicle from you until you have payed all monies owning to the start. What we must wait to see is if the Opposition leader will take any disciplinary measures.

  12. Patrick Ferrari says:

    Another power seeking crook. But this one wears it like a badge.

    At least he will be able to say, “I warned you.”

  13. It is such a shame when people refuse to think. It is even worst when they refuse to think for themselves.
    Now here is a man who have purchased a vehicle which was handed over to him. Let us say as was suggested the he had not finished paying for the car. Doesn’t he have twenty thousand dollars of equity in that car.

    What sense does it make handing over the vehicle to the custodian if he will not be allowed to have full use of it.

    To those of you who are suggesting that the gentle man resigned. It is one thing to drive an unlicensed vehicle; on a scale form on to ten (1-10) what level of seriousness is that offence, even if he had an accident and a person lose their life in the process. (Let us not forget the Clay Valley NDP political parry accident or incident)

    Now tell me how serious is the offence that Nature “honestly” confessed to and expressed sorrow for, to the several allegations of Rape and sexual assault that was made against Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. Mainly those that was brought against him by woman police Michelle Andrews and the Vincentian Canadian Human Rights Lawyer Margaret Parsons. How is it you guys, who are calling for Natures head never saw it fit to called for Ralph E. Gonsalves resignation over such serious allocations.

    I still support my point that some where in this whole scheme I can smell the stinking political aroma all over this affair. I can also smell Gonsalves dirty hand in this thing.

    I think Nature’s actions was reasonable and understandable, although not lawful. I will also say here; his actions are the actions of a reasonable person under the condition.

    Now I will join you guys and Call for Nature to resign from the house if you all who are calling for his resignation if you all Join with me and call for Ralph E. Gonsalves’ resignation for the allegations of the Rape of Michelle Andrews and the Sexual Assault of Margaret Parsons.

    Do we have a deal. Now begin calling for Gonsalves resignation you cowards. Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    Allan H. Palmer

  14. Ricardo Francis says:

    I have heard the comments made by Julian Francis in parliament by way of the internet. I thought about it carefully then and had come to my own perspectives knowing the political personalities in SVG.
    This is a very serious issue and it is not about unlicensed and uninsured vehicles on the roads in SVG, it is more to do with the whole construct of the political and legal system. The interpretations of laws and the construction of contracts and their consequences. Clearly, the remedies are not only political but more legal in formation from the construction of the contract itself.
    In SVG, we are still operating in a legal system that is not fully developed. However, this member of parliament simply has a lack of knowledge, judgement and legal understanding to have been in possession of this vehicle and driving same unlicensed.
    I am not a fan of any political party in SVG and any elected politican in SVG: they are all the same. Political astute move on the part of the government. It is a strategic approach to demonstrate the credilbility of the opposition and or lack thereof.
    St. Vincent and the Grenadines need solid, right thinking and determined men and women free of compromise and firm convictions to govern the affairs of SVG and to make the required and necesssary legal and political reforms.
    Ricardo Francis Prime Minister of St.Vincent and the Grenadines in Waiting and in the Making

  15. The notion that Mr Stephenson should resign is not entirely without merit BUT given the gross misconduct of political entities over the years in SVG, Mr Stephenson’s “crime” pales in comparison. What bothers me most is the fact that Mr Stephenson didn’t have the common sense to figure out a solution to this seemingly simple problem.

    I think the public shaming is enough of a punishment and the necessary authorities can now take steps in recovering the unpaid fees from Mr Stephenson.

  16. Allan H. Palmer ignorance is a curse and every time you post in this site it brings out how ignorant you are. It is obvious that you are a true Ralph Gonzalves hater and all can see that but in face of wrong doing you have to be positive and fair minded. You rightfully said allegations of Rape, do you really know the meaning of allegation? Those were allegations that were never proven so why must he have resign. As a matter of fact the young lady from Canada was caught lying and all right thinking vincentian knows that this was a whole set up against Ralph by persons in society for political gain. In comparison to allegation, this is a man who admits that he was driving an unlicensed vehicle from 2009 so there is no allegation here, it came from the horses mouth so what’s the point you are really making here. The fact is that we are all human and tend to forget things but this on Nature’s part was a deliberate and purposeful act he was fully aware of what he was doing. Well as to you and as to the allegations against Ralph and knowing your opposition, if they have any sort of evidence to support those allegations, Ralph would have been history today. We all know that there are some big time female lawyers in SVG who was all behind this and it is alleged that they even went out and offered money to people to come and concoc a story against Ralph that’s how nasty it can get. But you seems to forget that there were allegations against Nature too

  17. This cock and bull story by nature is the most bizarre I have heard. Not even the American politicians turn around account of what they meant to say could match this one. Why the police did not book the unlicenced vehicle. Interesting to hear future finance minister Eustace views on did one.

  18. Well he is in opposition and breaking the law, image what will happen if he is given a chance in government. God help us all in this country!!!!

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