Committee approves to seek dismissal of NIC members

Parliament Committee on Independent Institutions has made the decision to request President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to terminate four of the members of the National Integrity Commission (NIC).

A sub-committee from within the main committee was formed to assess NIC's response in handling the issue of police officers who conducted a social media campaign in support of police brutality, and regarding its response to the disappearance of journalist Ahmed Rilwan.

The sub-committee submitted a report on their findings during Wednesday’s meeting of the Committee on Independent Institutions. The report noted that the four out of the five members of NIC were not adequately fulfilling their responsibilities. They are; the Commission's President, Ahmed Sulaiman, Deputy President Hassaan Hameed and members Ahmed Ameen and Khadeeja Abdulla.

Speaking regarding the report, committee member MP Ahmed Visam proposed to seek the parliament’s opinion on offering counsel to the president to dismiss the four members. All members of the committee voted in favour of the suggestion. The committee agreed to prepare a report including the committee’s decision and present it to the parliament floor, which will then be debated. The proposal to request the termination of four members of NIC will only be passed if the majority of the members vote in favour of the suggestion in a parliamentary sitting.

NIC is comprised of five members. The four members whose termination is being sought were appointed to the commission by the former administration while the present administration appointed the remaining member, Ahmed Jihad.

As per the NIC Act, the president has the authority to terminate the members of the commission. The act was passed by parliament during the administration of former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Qayyoom. When the act was passed in 2015, then main-ruling party Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) had the majority in the parliament.

The commission was established on 15 October 2015 by former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom. It is an independent legal entity possessing powers to undertake its mandate in its own capacity, and is tasked with investigating unlawful acts of law enforcement agencies and its employees among other responsibilities.