Independent Institutions Committee passes to dismiss all ACC members

Members of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) captured at a press conference on March 28, 2021. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Parliament’s Independent Institutions Committee has voted to dismiss all Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) members – and forward this decision to the floor.

In a meeting held today, the dismissal of all ACC members were proposed by Inguraidhoo MP Hassan Ahmed (Hassantey) – which was seconded by Bilehdhoo MP Ahmed Haleem (Dhonbileh).

A vote was taken regarding the proposal – during which five members of the Committee voted in favor of dismissing all ACC members and forwarding this decision to the floor.

The five members are Gan MP Hassan Wisam, Baarah MP Ahmed Abdullah, Ingauradhoo MP Hassantey, Bilehdhoo MP Dhonbileh and Velidhoo MP Mohamed Abdul Shafeeg. They are all members of the ruling-Maldivian Democratic Party.

Only two members voted against dismissing ACC members. They are Vilimale’ MP Ahmed Usham and Isdhoo MP Ali Hameed. MP Usham belongs to Maldives National Party – whilst MP Hameed belongs to Jumhoory Party.

ACC members were given the chance to respond in writing regarding their dismissal prior to this vote – following which all members had submitted their written response.

Parliament’s Independent Institutions Committee decided in November that they would recommend the dismissal of members found to be underperforming following their review. Following its review – the Committee was voted initiate the process of dismissal all members of ACC in early December as they uncovered the Commission had over 16,000 pending cases.  

The Committee said that while ACC completed investigations into 61 percent of corruption cases, only one percent of the cases was sent for prosecution.  

They also noted that the Commission had a huge backlog, and takes a long time to forward cases to the Prosecutor General’s Office even after completing investigations. In addition to this it was also observed that a lot of the cases sent to the Prosecutor General’s Office were sent back to the commission.  

The Committee said in its report that the pace of the ACC’s work was unusually slow, and that many of the funds stolen from the state remains unrecovered. They found only MVR 11,000 in funds were recovered by the end of October. 

Currently, there are three ACC members in office. They are; ACC’s President Mariyam Shiuna, Vice President Fathimath Anoola and Member Aishath Abdulla.

Ibrahim Shakeel, who was serving as a member tendered his resignation following the Committee’s decision to initiate the dismissal process. Meanwhile, Ashraf Ali, who was also serving as a member had resigned earlier amidst the performance audit.