The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has informed Malé City Council that its agreement with Go Media Pvt Ltd for organising the annual night market in the capital was terminated last year.
In a press release yesterday, the commission noted that it had been informed by the previous city council on November 21 that the five-year contract with Go Media had been invalidated.
The ACC press statement comes after Go Media announced that this year’s night market will be held from May 1 to 10 at the tsunami memorial area with 460 tables and 62 tents.
Go Media General Manager Ibrahim Amir told local media that the company had not been informed of the termination, suggesting that this could only be done by a court following litigation.
The ACC has yesterday noted that it had received a copy of a letter sent to Go Media by the city council informing the company of the contract termination.
“And the council has been told that the commission believes that going ahead with the terminated contract would be unduly benefiting a particular party,” the statement read.
Go Media’s Amir revealed that 85 percent of stalls had been sold already, noting that preparations for the market were ongoing with the city council’s authorisation.
Mayor Mohamed Shihab meanwhile told the press that the night market will go ahead as scheduled as the council has not been ordered by any state institution to terminate the agreement.
The new council’s stance was to honour agreements entered into by the previous council, Shihab said, contending that the council could be sued if it terminated contracts on its own accord.
Shihab said, however, that the council would comply with instructions from relevant authorities to cancel any agreement.
“I am surprised that the ACC has not told us to terminate the agreement if there was corruption involved,” he was quoted as saying by newspaper Haveeru.
The mayor was unavailable for comment today.
Earlier this month, the ACC asked the Prosecutor General’s (PG) office to press corruption charges against three ex-councillors as well as three senior staff over alleged abuse of authority in the awarding of the contract to Go Media.
Following an investigation – prompted by a complaint filed in March 2013 alleging corruption in the bidding process – the ACC found that Go Media Pvt Ltd was registered eight days before the city council’s announcement seeking a party to organise the night market.
However, the council awarded full marks to the company for experience during its bid evaluation process, the ACC revealed.
While the committee that evaluated the proposal determined that Go Media’s team had experience in organising such events, the ACC noted that the company did not submit any documentation as proof of experience.
Moreover, the council’s request for information document did not state that marks would be awarded for experience.
Of the three ex-councillors facing corruption charges, Ibrahim Shujau and Ahmed Hameed ‘Fly’ were elected on Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party tickets in 2011 before defecting to the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and the Jumhooree Party, respectively.
The third ex-councillor – former Deputy Mayor Ahmed Samah Rasheed – was elected on an MDP ticket.
Shujau meanwhile contested in last month’s parliamentary elections as the MDP’s candidate for the Galolhu South constituency, losing to incumbent MP Ahmed Mahloof.
None of the 11 councillors of the Male’ City Council elected in February 2011 were re-elected in the second local council elections that took place on January 18.