National Integrity Commission (NIC) says it has not been receiving Maldives Police Service’s cooperation for investigations and that it would take action against the institution if it continues to be uncooperative.
When VNews contacted NIC’s President Yoosuf Maniu on Saturday regarding a tweet, he criticized the police saying that they have not been cooperating with NIC.
Maniu said NIC’s investigations into numerous cases involving police have gone pending due to the issue and that NIC had sent several letters and even spoke to police over the phone regarding the lack of cooperation. However, the situation has not changed, he said, adding that police had even been informed of the legal action that would be taken against them if they continue to be uncooperative.
He said as a result of police’s lack of cooperation and public’s lack of knowledge about efforts to investigate cases against the police, NIC has been under public scrutiny.
Maniu said some police officers have said that they face difficulties in cooperating with NIC because they are still following Police Integrity Commission (PIC) which was the former police watchdog. Stating that it was not NIC’s concern, Maniu said it is a responsibility of the police to amend its policies and regulations.
“These are things that need to be corrected by police’s leadership. From what police officers in lower ranks say it is clear that they don’t fully understand laws and regulations.”
He further said that as cases in NIC are linked to the rights of a number of citizens and as government too wants to ensure citizens’ rights are upheld and they get due justice, the institution cannot let cases go pending assuming police would cooperate.
Maniu said that there have been no threats to his job or influence from President Abdulla Yameen thus far.
“Even the President and the government want cases to be wrapped up quickly, for action to be taken against the guilty."
NIC was established after dissolving Customs Integrity Commission and PIC, and is responsible for overseeing the police, Maldives Customs Service, Maldives Correctional Service and Maldives Immigration.
The Commission has authority to fine individuals who fail to comply with summons and other orders up to MVR 50,000.
Article 5 of the National Integrity Commission Act states that NIC is a separate legal entity with its own common seal, with power to sue and to be sued in its own name and power to take on undertakings in its own name.