Brigadier General Nilam suspended following testimony to Government Oversight Committee

Former head of military intelligence, Brigadier General Ahmed Nilam, has been relieved of his duties at the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), by Defence Minister Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Nazim.

According to a statement by the Defence Ministry yesterday, General Nilam was suspended because a case involving the former head of military intelligence was under investigation.

The statement did not provide further details or specify the nature of the investigation and alleged offence.

The move follows the Brigadier General’s testimony (Dhivehi) to parliament’s Government Oversight Committee on January 9, which was made public on Wednesday after MPs on the committee voted to publicise minutes of the closed session.

During the past two weeks, the oversight committee has summoned high-ranking officers of the security services for its review of the Commission of National Inquiry’s (CNI’s) report into the transfer of presidential power on February 7, 2012.

In his testimony to the committee, Brigadier General Nilam said he was asked by Defence Minister Nazim if he believed that the transfer of power amounted to a coup or a revolution.

Nilam said he replied that, “looking at it academically, this has all the characteristics of a coup.”

“I have even looked into this and studied this along principles that academicians would consider. So I told [Nazim] that this has all the characteristics. He didn’t say anything else,” Nilam said.

Asked by pro-government Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MP Ahmed Nihan if he believed there was a coup d’etat, Nilam said based on his experience in military intelligence, “this has roots that go much deeper.”

Brigadier General Nilam was seen in leaked video from inside the MNDF headquarters showing a frenzied former President Nasheed ordering officers to go out and confront the mutinying police on the morning of February 7.

Responding to questions by committee members, Nilam explained that the president, defence minister and chief of defence forces were issuing orders because “the [military] lines weren’t working.”

“I was really saddened. This was not something I ever saw inside the military. There has been insubordination. There are former officers here [among MPs on the committee]. There is insubordination. But things have never happened like this in such an operation,” Nilam said at the committee.

Nilam added that he saw a president in a “very helpless” state, which was “a sad moment.”

“We are entrusted with the duty and responsibility of protecting the country’s independence and sovereignty. It is truly disturbing to see something like from [the military],” he said.

The brigadier general said he was present when current Defence Minister Nazim relayed the message for the president’s “unconditional” resignation.

He also noted that military officers banged the president’s car with their boots while he was taken to the President’s Office from the military headquarters and that current Chief of Defence Forces General Ahmed Shiyam took over as acting chief before President Nasheed officially resigned.

“There are lot of questions here. I believe that this should be investigated thoroughly and looked into. These are very serious matters,” he said.

Under Maldivian law, Brigadier General Nilam continued, a “coup d’etat” could not be carried out without the military’s involvement as the offence is specified and prohibited in the Defence Forces Act of 2008.

Asked by the committee’s chair, MP Ali Waheed, if there was a threat to the life of President Nasheed had he not resigned, Nilam said weapons were stored because there was fear of live armour being used and that the mutinying police were armed with riot gear.

Nilam also revealed that the military did not have “any control of [presidential residence] Muleeage after 7:00am or 7:30am in the morning.”

Police and ex-servicemen entered Muleeage after 7:15am on February 7, 2012, he added.

First Lady Laila Ali and the president’s daughters were reportedly taken to a safe location in the morning.

Continuing his testimony, Brigadier General Nilam said he overheard President refuse assistance from two foreign nations before he decided to resign.

“[The President] said this is an internal matter. He answered both calls in much the same way,” he said.

Nilam added that there was possibility of bloodshed “if it dragged on” and that the president’s life was in danger.

Meanwhile, former Chief Superintendent of Police Mohamed Jinah was also relieved of his duties last week following his testimony to the oversight committee.


10 thoughts on “Brigadier General Nilam suspended following testimony to Government Oversight Committee”

  1. nialam is vEry Godd heero. he is noqt supp;ort bahee BMW. He is suppoert our beloVe preesideient Annie. Brigodieqr Nilaafm HOP hopp hop hpop.

  2. In the revolutions in middle east before and now, many people have died, lost their livelihoods and careers...they sacrificed everything for the future of their countries.

    Brigadier Nilam is just one of a few who did sacrifice the only power he had to say the truth, to save the youth and the country from turmoil and civil unrest that soon shall be seen on streets as the ordinary person continues to suffer.

    Nilam, there are hundreds like you waiting to voice themselves but scared. Thank you for being an are not alone and for sure the time is coming and we would all join you.

  3. General Nilam is one of the few honest men left in the top brass of MNDF. Of course Nazim will be fuming at having the truth come out like this. The snake will try to destroy soldiers like Nilam who served their country throughout their entire career!

    Snakes cannot hide forever. The truth will come out and justice will be served, one day.

  4. Hats off to you Brig General Nilam!. You had the nerves to tell the truth and Insha Allah, it will pay off very soon. Good on ya and don't be disheartened by the actions taken against you. Keep up the good spirits!

  5. Without a doubt General Nilam is Maldives most respected and loyal Generals. Never heard any criticism for decades. All of a sudden a suspension for him. How will these ignorant barbarians go on looting the nation...... May Allah Bless Gen Nilam

  6. Is this guy is only the person who were there? I call upon other people to form another investigation on crimes that Nahseed had committed and issue a report based on the findings.

    90% of the armed forces are disagree to this guy comments and this is politically motivated and the guy in charge of this investigation is the most corrupted person in the parliament.

    90% of the people believe that Nasheed had given iilgal orders to armed forces and armed forces does not require to obey illegal orders too.

    majority of Maldivian believe that Nasheed resigned on his own due his failure .

  7. @UK holiday maker where are you getting this figure of 90 percent of Maldivians? Did you do a survey or its merely conjecture?

  8. @Uk Holiday maker

    Like the guy above me said, NINETY PERCENT? where on earth did you get that figure?

  9. UK Holiday maker is a fake, a Maldivian in hiding. His English grammer is so poor it is plain to see he is a puppet of the current dictators whose only education comes from the back streets of Pakistan.

    This is how civil-military relations work. The Chief of Staff is the elected head of state, therefore his orders are to be followed. Unless he actually stated "take your guns and kill everyone opposed to me" then the military commanders can refuse to act.

    In a democratic system the Military cannot be above the politically elected. History has shown most coups are led behind the scenes by military commanders losing power when a new democracy is formed. The Maldives is no different to the likes of Burma.

  10. Ahmad Nilam is humble,honest,loyal and a true gentleman. I have the honor to be close with him whilst we were together at Sandhurst. The man I knew then is the same now. May Allah bless Ahamad Nilam.


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