Police deny arresting MNDF Brigadier General Ahmed Nilam: “Just questions”

Police last night summoned Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) Brigadier General Ahmed Nilam for questioning, shortly before President Waheed announced his decision to remain in power until November 16.

A poilce spokesperson told Minivan News that Nilam was not arrested and was only brought in for questioning over an ongoing investigation.

He denied reports on social media that Nilam had been taken to Dhoonidhoo police custodial.

He also said that police would not like to disclose further information about the investigation and declined to say what it investigation was about.

According to police, Nilam was released after a few questions.

Brigadier General Nilam was suspended from military services in January this year and the MNDF has not told the media why he was suspended.

Local media reports have suggested the sudden decision to detain him last night was related to his comments to a parliamentary committee regarding the controversial transfer of power in February 2012.

In his testimony to the Government Oversight Committee on January 9, 2012, 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.

Nilam was among the few MNDF high ranking officers that did not join the then-opposition parties during the events of February 7, 2012.

MNDF officers have circulated an appeal calling on their fellow soldiers not to obey “unlawful” orders issued by President Waheed or his political appointees, following the expiry of his presidential term at midnight on November 10.

The five-page document, signed by 73 officers including many mid-ranking officers, is titled “An appeal to soldiers to maintain their oath to be professional and apolitical.”