Umar Naseer, former home minister and presidential hopeful, has been accused of abuse of authority in awarding contracts for activities held in July 2015 to celebrate 50 years of independence.
Shortly after investigators from the anti-graft watchdog went into the home ministry Sunday morning, Home Minister Azleen Ahmed called an impromptu press conference and alleged that his predecessor had awarded contracts in violation of public finance rules.
“We have noticed that work was contracted out without asking for quotations or any prior agreement. We also have information that the responsible person at the procurement department was bypassed and the minister himself awarded contracts to people he wanted,” he said.
Naseer promptly denied the allegations, insisting that all contracts were signed with the finance minister’s written approval.
“I ask President [Abdulla] Yameen to defeat me at the ballot box. Not through ACC or Court,” he tweeted.
According to Azleen, the allegations against Naseer include the awarding of successive contracts to single parties. He added that the prices of goods and services sought by the ministry were exorbitant.
Azleen stressed that he was not blaming a particular individual, but added: “Whoever is in the minister’s role, whether it is me or anyone else, no minister has the power to work against the public financial regulations.”
The minister did not disclose the amount of money alleged to have been spent in violation of the rules.
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Source URL: Maldives Independent