The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has forwarded five cases for prosecution in recent weeks after concluding investigations into complaints lodged at the commission dating back to 2009.
The cases sent for prosecution involves corrupt practices at the Gaaf Dhaal Atoll Council and Gaaf Dhaal Thinadhoo office as well as abuse of authority by former councillors of Laamu Maavah and Seenu Hithadhoo and former Housing Ministry Director Ibrahim Fayaz.
In the first case, the ACC found that the Gaaf Dhaal Atoll Council purchased furniture worth Rf54,200 from a shop in Male’ without a public announcement or bidding process.
Regulations under the Public Finance Act stipulates all procurement in excess of Rf25,000 to be made after a public announcement.
The ACC therefore recommend the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) to charge Chair of the Gaaf Dhaal Atoll Council Mohamed Nizam, Deputy Chair Shahir Hassan, Atoll Councillor Mohamed Muhthar and Abdulla Shiyaz with abuse of authority for financial gain to a third party.
The second complaint investigated by the ACC concerned fraudulent valuation of five proposal to provide security to the Gaaf Dhaal Thinadhoo office in January 2011, which resulted in the bid being awarded to the party that did not submit the lowest price.
The ACC found that members of the bid evaluation committee – Adam Shareef, Nasrullah Afeef, Mohamed Abdulla and Saudhullah Ali – abused their authority to secure financial gain to the winner of the bid, ARDK Investments.
While the public announcement did not state that marks would be awarded for experience, the ACC found that the bid was awarded to ARDK on the basis of having more experience than the other four interested parties.
The third complaint meanwhile involved a monthly allowance of Rf2,000 provided to an employee at the Laamu Maavah powerhouse from April to May 2009 by former councillor Waleed Zakariyya without the approval of either the island development committee or government officials.
The ACC investigators determined that Waleed Zakariyya’s claim that the employee performed additional tasks during the period could not be proved.
The ACC therefore recommended that Zakariyya be charged for abuse of authority under article 12(a) of the Anti-Corruption Act as he was found to have made the decision on his own. In addition, the ACC informed the PGO on May 29 to recover the Rf4,000 lost from public funds.
Prior to the formation of local councils following elections in February 2011, island councillors were appointed by President Mohamed Nasheed.
In the fourth case, the ACC found that former councillor of Seenu Hithadhoo, Mohamed Shamin Ali, awarded a contract worth Rf189,393.75 to construct a check-post in the island after the island development committee decided to postpone the project due to financial difficulties.
The ACC noted that the check-post was used by police for a short period and has since deteriorated beyond use. The ACC recommended the former councillor be charged with abuse of authority for financial gain to a third party.
The last case meanwhile involves abuse of authority by Housing Ministry Director Ibrahim Fayaz, who was in charge of the Dharubaaruge convention centre.
Fayaz was found to have cancelled an advance booking by private broadcaster DhiTV to lease the Rannabadeyri hall to telecast a debate between candidates for the president and vice-president of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) on April 26, 2011.
The ACC discovered that Fayaz cancelled DhiTV’s booking and leased the hall to MDP-aligned Raajje TV. The booking was cancelled after DhiTV advertised the event and completed preparations to telecast the debate.
The ACC investigators determined that Fayaz’s claim that he cancelled the booking after informing DhiTV to make the full payment a day ahead of the event could not be established from either documentation or witness statements.
The ACC recommended that Fayaz be charged with abuse of authority under articles 12(a) and 23 of the Anti-Corruption Act.