The Parliamentary representative of Addu Atoll’s Maradhoo constituency Ibrahim Shareef, on Wednesday, rebutted the claims that he submitted the amendment seeking to reduce the number of Supreme Court judges to five during former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s administration.
As per a statement given to the police by former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, now serving after being convicted of several corruption charges regarding the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Shareef submitted the bill upon the ex-VP’s request, for a payment of MVR 20 million.
Part of the aforementioned statement, which is currently circulating on social media platforms, state that the initial payment consisted of MVR 5 million.
Shareef is a member of ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), which was the opposition in Yameen’s administration.
Although authorities have yet to confirm the authenticity of the statement, Shareef responded by asserting that he did not submit the amendment on Adeeb’s request.
He went on to add that he had lodged the bill “upon request of the party’s president”. Former President and current Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed, is the President of MDP, and he held the post at the time Shareef submitted the amendment as well.
The Maradhoo MP argued that MDP would have taken measures against him unless the amendment was proposed without the backing of the “party’s president”.
He further asserted that he will not back down in the face of threats.
According to the statement floating around in social media, the MVR 20 million paid to Shareef was also disbursed to secure votes from other parliamentarians.
The allegations against Shareef surfaced shortly after he was removed from the Parliament chambers on Wednesday morning after a quarrel between him and the representative of Faafu Atoll’s Bilehdhoo constituency Ahmed Haleem.
After the MP ignored several requests to leave the floor, Speaker Nasheed kicked Shareef out of the session with a repeated and aggressive command of “Sergeant at Arms, get him out”.
MDP Presisent Nasheed had expressed wanting to shrink the Supreme Court bench when he lost the 2013 election to former President Yameen. However, following Shareef’s submission to the Parliament, rumours spread that the MP filed the proposal in aims of granting Yameen’s government more control over the apex court.
With the approval of the amendment, the state removed the then Chief of Justice Ahmed Faiz Hussain along with Judge Muthasim Adnan from the seven-member bench.
Later, in President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s administration, Muthasim was reinstated into the SC bench as Chief of Justice.